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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,753 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1753
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 27.3%

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)
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Ratings: 1,753 | Reviews: 772 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Matt_Stuart


2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

The Pumpkinhead ale presents with a good color. That said, the smell and taste, although light in the mouth, is very spice laden. It overpowers the taste buds. The initial taste is good, but the spices finish with an overpowering sense on the rear of your mouth. Additionally, the spices in the beer overpower the pumpkin taste that I was looking for.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 16:05:00 | More by Matt_Stuart
Photo of 360logic


2.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear light amber hue, with a light head that fizzles out immediately. Not terribly inviting.

S: Ginger ale, candied ginger, cinnamon and some wheat. All very faintly.

T: Some cinnamon and nutmeg, but mostly this tastes a lot like a malty ginger ale soda. Zero hops, sweet gingery flavor with a non-existent finish. The taste is over before it even starts.

M: Thin. Very thin. Macro-brew lager thin.

O: Just a bland drinking experience. Not necessarily offensive but almost painfully bland. There's so little going on here, I don't know why I'd go out of my way to try this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 07:37:30 | More by 360logic
Photo of bmwats


2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a hand glass.

A: Medium golden hue. Large rising bubbles of effervescence. Pours a half finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates very quickly. Very slight lacing, quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Smells like pumpkin pie.

T: Cardboard, white bread, and a bit of unsweet fall spice.

M: Light body. Off-putting, synthetic aftertaste.

D: I don't know....

Atmosphere is okay. Slight head, no real lacing. Nose is fall spice and pumpkin... very distinct. Very papery or cardboard tone overshadows anything else. Overall, this is a serviceable at best quaff.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 04:46:55 | More by bmwats
Photo of Ryan_Graham


3.39/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells almost exactly like pumpkin pie. Light yellow color with minimal head. I love the taste. It's very different than anything I've ever had before. Starts out light with a huge pumpkin pie after taste. Overall, it's my first pumpkin beer and I enjoyed it very much. I'm surprised by the low rating here. I guess I'll have to check out more pumpkin beers to establish a little context.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 00:11:02 | More by Ryan_Graham
Photo of KeaganIlvonen


2.48/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkinhead was my first venture into pumpkin beer, so it will always have a special place in my heart. With that being said, after discovering new pumpkin beers, it doesn't even compare.

Appearance: Light orange, almost no head, again, flat on appearance.

Taste: It's light, has very little pumpkin flavor, more spices, which isn't a bad thing, it just doesn't deliver as much as you would hope. The best way to describe it is flat.

Smell: Once again, heavy with spices and cinnamon, which is great as summer turns into to fall, it fits the season perfectly on windy autumn night.

Mouthfeel: Very light and smooth for a 4.7%, no bite, light carbonation.

Overall: While it's nothing compared to the likes of some of the other pumpkin beers I've tried, Pumpkinhead still is a great go to in the fall if you want something easy to drink with some of that pumpkin flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 20:36:03 | More by KeaganIlvonen
Photo of Tr0janSlay3r


2.45/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance- Nice golden orange color with about a one finger head that quickly dissipated. I cannot really see through the beer except seeing my fingers shadows on the other side. Little carbonation is showed in the beer.

Smell- Very spice filled. Huge scents of nutmeg and almost an artificial pumpkin pie smell. It almost has a potpourri smell. Pumpkinhead also has high scents of sweetness almost like an artificial sweetener or sugar was added to this beer. With that being said on to the taste.

Taste- Nice cinnamon taste right on the back of the tongue and it really does stay on your tongue for a bit. I get even more of the cinnamon with a very fake pumpkin flavoring following suit. It seems as though they tried to get this beer to take like pumpkin pie that has a graham cracker crust to it. Really not the best pumpkin beer but it is not too bad. The potpourri taste is not too pleasant though I must say.

Mouthfeel- INCREDIBLY smooth. Really it goes down like it is water which is pretty good for drinkability. I was personally hoping for a little more body to it but really it is almost like a light beer in smoothness.

Overall, I did enjoy it. I would like to broaden my horizons a bit on pumpkin beers, but for what it is worth I liked it. I think shipyard has potential to make a stronger more bodied pumpkin beer, but this definitely is a start. I honestly think everyone I know would enjoy this in autumn. I could give this to a non-craft beer drinker and I think they could appreciate it. CHEERS!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 23:26:19 | More by Tr0janSlay3r
Photo of Brew_42


3.43/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer's score might be slightly inflated due to sentimental factors. To me, Pumpkin Head means that fall is here in New England and it was the first beer that I enjoyed drinking,

Appearance- Pours amber with a hint of orange. Thin white head.

Smell- Smells like pumpkin pie spice.

Taste- Cinnamon and pumpkin are the main flavors.

MF-Slight carbnation.

O- As far as pumkin ales go it isn't spectacular but you can get it almost anywhere in Fall in New England so I often find myself ordering one. If you have a choice Punkin or Pumking are the way to go but its definitely worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2013 08:36:27 | More by Brew_42
Photo of recoveringmormon


3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not as skeptical as some of the other reviewers here; admittedly this is partly because this is a beer I picked up with no expectations, and found that it did exceed whatever preconceived notions I had. Yes it is lighter, but it tastes good, not just an autumn beer but actually good for lawnmower days in the summer. More sessionable than most of the other pumpkin ales around. I don't see it around a lot but I would probably buy it again if I did.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 01:42:17 | More by recoveringmormon
Photo of JGargano


4.74/5  rDev +61.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one of my favorite fall pumpkin offerings. It has a nice balance of pumpkin flavor, sweetness, and a slight kick. It tastes "pumpkin-y" without being overwhelming. I can easily drink 2 or 3 before having to switch to something lighter. This is the beer I most look forward to around late August, and the one I drink most frequently throughout the season.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2013 18:39:50 | More by JGargano
Photo of AJ01923


1.58/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Still can't fathom how this seems to be Shipyards most popular beer while being their worst? Pugsley's is a much better version but when it comes to pumpkins, however if im looking for Pumpkin I steer clear of Shipyard. Still enjoy plenty of other beers in their lineup including Export and Chamberlain. Great brewery in Portland, worth a visit every time.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2013 02:44:57 | More by AJ01923
Photo of codysjb


3.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Shipyard Pumpkin
Poured from a bottle into a pint
A: Generic, straw orange color with a small head. But the head doesn’t dissipate.
S: Musk, spices, some minor pumpkin notes but lots of nutmeg.
T: Spiced, flavored beer. Some nutmeg, some cinnamon maybe? Not like a pumpkin, a little watery but not bad.
M: Better, nice spices that melt together
O: Generic, sure, but not terrible for the style. Kinda right in the middle.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 01:52:44 | More by codysjb
Photo of GossageBrewery


1.39/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Poured this Pumpkin Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear pale yellow color, produced a thin white head, poor retention and it left no lacing on the glass. The aroma was very light, some barley and a bit of spice. Light in body, this ale was very thin, watery, not much of a grain base- there was some spice, perhaps a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Overall, very poor example of the style- I thought Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale was better, and I hated Buffalo Bills. This brew should be avoided.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 18:00:36 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of Huffs

New York

2.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams glass and a nice frothy head developed and dissipated quickly with no lacing. Appearance was cloudy with a straw to dark yellow color. Aroma had strong spicy notes of allspice and cinnamon. Taste was also of the same spices with hints of citrus and indeed pumpkin. Mouthfeel was light and aftertaste was of spice and lingering.

Serving type: can

01-12-2013 22:39:11 | More by Huffs
Photo of Amish_Ambush


2.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on: 09-07-2006

Nice little design on the front of the bottle. A pumpkin head riding on a horse. Bottle says Pumpkin spice added. There is a metallic note in the aroma that detracts from an otherwise sweet cinnamon smell. The mouth feel is pretty thin. Not a lot of body here folks. It is just a bit above watery. There is a hint of pumpkin and cinnamon in there but nothing pronounced or special. Not a very good beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 02:10:13 | More by Amish_Ambush
Photo of Maxwell


3.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a golden orange with a big white finger-width head on top that lasts awhile. The body is clear and translucent, but is marked by numerous fierce streams of carbonation bubbles. On the nose, the beer smells sweet and spicy with a warming (but not overwhelming) touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, alongside a fruitier malt character, with light hints of biscuit. On the tongue, the beer tastes light and warmly spicy with a light hit of watery flavoring. The beer begins with fiercer spices and transitions into softer and warmer spicy notes with a blossoming of biscuity notes and watery finish that still rings with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg. On the mouth, the beer feels smooth but thin, sitting very watery in the mouth, though it does have some heavier notes to it. The mouth is left clean with a light spice tingle, and some torrents of spittle sitting on the sides of the mouth and calling for more. Overall, this is the classic pumpkin beer, whether you like it or not. It is easily accessed and available nearly everywhere and it is really not offensive to the palate. I feel like a lot of people like to hate on Pumpkinhead because of its mass-production ways, but let’s be honest, it is not bad. Is it the best pumpkin beer? No. Is it a little watery? Yes, but that helps with the drinkability. This is a decent beer that is readily available, and a nice introduction to pumpkin beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 23:55:30 | More by Maxwell
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.83/5  rDev +64.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Twelve ounce bottle freshness dated to March 2013.

Aroma has a malty sweet scent slight trace of grassiness. Pours a hazy orange yellow with large off white head. No lacing of glass. Clean pumpkiny taste, not over spiced or pumpkin PIE flavored. No bitter aftertaste, very crisp.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 00:03:46 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of FratyardVines


4.08/5  rDev +39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this light yellow-amber colored seasonal pumpkin ale out of a 12oz bottle as well as out of a Sam Adams Brewery glass. It pours a small half finger head that dissipates quickly leaving a very slight lace. The taste follows the nose in that it is quite sweet with hints of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of malt. It is my favorite pumpkin ale out of all that I have tried because it is light and sweet and reminds me of a slice of pumpkin pie. I highly recommend it because of its versatility, as it has the excellent taste that a pumpkin seasonal should without the heaviness that others do, thus one can easily enjoy multiple bottles of this ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 17:24:45 | More by FratyardVines
Photo of stakem


2.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz can into a snifter. Thanks go to Kegatron for not only gifting me with this but also continuing with being my source of 90% of my can reviews. A pumpkin ale in a can, well that is unique. The brew appears a very pale golden color with a finger of slightly off-white head that rests atop and fades leaving some spotty patches of lacing effect. There is a very mild haze to this but it is borderline more light and clearer than any other pumpkin brew I have had.

The aroma is interesting. It opens up with a pumpkin aspect that is somewhat like pumpkin flesh and a bit of a seedy to earthy aspect but doesn't really carry with it that vegetative aspect I have come to expect in pumpkin ales. There is a very mild spiced aspect going on in this and a bit of a fruity tinge. There is something just very different about this brew's aroma but it is strangely familiar and quite similar to the essence found in timmermans pumpkin lambic. It is almost like a scent that you would expect to emit from green tea.

The taste is a bit shocking. You get the feel of pumpkin flavors but it just seems to be fake and strangely reminiscent to the previously mentioned timmermans. I think it is strangely similar with almost a green tea sort of feel to it. Spices like cinnamon and zesty almost lemony ginger are present. There is no base grain and no essence of hops. When a bigger sip is taken, this has a feel about it more like soda than beer. The aftertaste is a bit like cinnamon toast crunch and the overall profile is quite lacking. I dont want to point fingers and make accusations but I would not be surprised if you told me that this beer was made with Torani pumpkin spice syrup.

This is a light bodied brew with a lively amount of uplifting carbonation. It is easy drinking and unique. I had no problems throwing some of this back but it really is lacking in beer qualities. It is enjoyable in a strange sort of pumpkin spice carbonated green tea and pumpkin cocktail, not a beer. As a beer it is a failure and I am sad to say it because there is nothing horrible or off-putting about it, it is just not what you would expect/want in a pumpkin beer or a beer at all for that matter.

Serving type: can

11-29-2012 03:13:24 | More by stakem
Photo of BMMillsy


3.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can, slightly darker than the usual pale lager. Aroma is basic corn/hay aroma with a hint of pumpkin and minor spice. Flavor follows with light lager, but I like that I finally found a pumpkin beer that highlights pumpkin rather than overpowering nutmeg. Sorry people, nutmeg in beer is disgusting. This is underrated. While the base beer is only okay at best, I really enjoyed having a sixer over 18 holes on a nice late fall afternoon. The pumpkin flavor is present, but not overpowering. The beer is light. No it's not a masterpiece, but I would drink this over the overspiced Pumkings of the world any day.

Serving type: can

11-23-2012 18:28:16 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of VoodooBear

Puerto Rico

1.8/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle. No freshness date. Served in a Samuel Adams sensory glass.

Appearance: Thick two finger head that holds fairly well. Very clear, dark yellow color. Lacing is very nice all the way to the bottom.

Smell: Smells very strongly of allspice. Seems to me it's meant to remind you of pumpkin pie but it's just too strong.

Taste: The smell carries over into the taste. The allspice is very strong on the palate. There's a bit of malt in there but that's about it. It's very sweet and does not taste like a beer at all.

Mouthfeel: Almost no carbonation. It's very light and easy to drink. Feels more like a soda that's gone flat than a beer.

Overall: For a beer called "Pumpkinhead Ale", you'd expect, firstly at least some pumpkin and secondly, an ale. This "beer" is disappointing on both fronts. There's no pumpkin to be smelled or tasted at all. On the "ale" part, well I'm just not sure where that comes from. It's more like an allspice soda, I guess. Not the worst beer in the world, but most certainly one of the worst pumpkin ales out there. If you see these on the shelf at your local store, just skip right over it, you're not missing anything.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 22:45:28 | More by VoodooBear
Photo of Bookseeb


2.8/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance has a light orange amber color with a thin dissipating head leaving no lace. Not a lot of aroma to this one, very faint of the malt and hops. Taste is watered down malt with pumpkin spice that really comes out tasting like a flat cola. Mouthfeel is light with light carbonation. This one was really not worth saving till thanksgiving, but I do have a backup.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 01:12:53 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of mdaschaf


3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: Pours a golden amber color with a small white head that holds as a thin cap on top with moderate lacing.

S: A very faint aroma of spices, some cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: A very light flavor profile, some more spice, cinnamon and nutmeg, a little bit of vanilla, and some bready malt.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A very basic pumpkin beer, pretty boring. Excited to try the BBL version though..as of now at least.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 02:29:07 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

2.95/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a light pee yellow with a finger of head which quickly diminished.
smells of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg.. very sweet on the nose.
yikes... i'm getting a slight (VERY SLIGHT) flavor of the spices, and that's it. it's almost like a spiced bud light :(
light body, high carbonation.

i feel this isn't AS bad as some people make it out to be.. i mean, the majority of pumpkin ales are very artificial tasting.. and this fits right in. granted, this is lighter than most, it still tastes slightly like pumpkin pie and is still something i'd rather drink over some shitty malt liquors and bud/miller/coors. ehh, actually i'd take high life over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 02:57:44 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of Jadjunk


2.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shipyard's Pumpkinhead arrives relatively early for fall beers, this year it was in stores by June. Pumpkinhead is brewed in the Pumpkin Ale style. Date ticked on the bottle is March 2013. No information on the label, this beer has gathered some notoriety for very shallow pumpkin flavor and heavy spice presence.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served at 43º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a near white crispy head over a golden yellow body with a mild haze and ample carbonation. Head retention is average at best- a shallow frothy surface. Body color is pale and thin for the style and the head quality is poor by comparison to other beers of this style. 2

(Smell) Aroma is pleasing, although pumpkin doesn't come to mind over cinnamon applesauce. Malt presence is clean and one-dimensional. The aroma is overall sweet and crisp. Potency is medium. There's not much pumpkin to be found in the aroma of this beer, but there is an enjoyable enough, if not misleading aroma overall. 3

(Taste) Flavor is not as enjoyable as the aroma predicted. Dry cinnamon spice with a slightly less sweet malt base is lacking in substance overall. Fruit is barely audible. Pumpkin, if present at all, is limited to rinds and tart, unripe meat. It would be a stretch discerning this beer from a malty hard apple cider, which is problematic for defining the beer style. Amongst other Pumpkin Ales, this beer is a very light drinking option, and many are likely to feel shortchanged for what they'll get. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Crisp, lively carbonation throughout. Body is light for the style and light overall. Alcohol presence is light, masked partially by the cinnamon. A bit crisp and lively, which is okay for this beer in particular but not your robust pumpkin ale. 3

(Overall) I constantly got the impression that I was drinking fermented cinnamon applesauce throughout the beverage. It isn't terrible, but it's very misleading. If there is pumpkin in this beer at all, it falls through in nearly every way imaginable, and the resulting beer is very light in taste and shallow in flavor. This isn't a terrible result all-around, but for those looking to settle into the fall flavors of a fuller-bodied-pumpkin-heavy beer, this may feel more like a summer cider than you hoped for. 3

Shipyard Brewing Company's

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 19:53:52 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of zeledonia


3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don't drink many pumpkin ales, but this was in a friend's fridge, so what the hey. Tasted 12 October 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a pale yellow, with a bit of orange. A tiny little cap of head, not much. Clear. Little lacing.

Smell is more spices than anything else, but it's the right kind of spices. Slightly sweet, with a squashy juicy chewy fullness. Clove, cinnamon, other soft slightly sweet spices.

Taste is half pumpkin and half spice. Pumpkin flavor isn't all that potent. Kinda bland.

Mouthfeel is thin and really (really) highly carbonated. After the bubbles fade, it feels watery.

When it warms up, it tastes like watered-down pumpkin pie. That suggests how heavily spiced it is. Could be worse. I might drink it again, as it's not actually offensive, but I certainly wouldn't seek it out. Just rather dull - thin and light, both in feel and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 02:55:13 | More by zeledonia
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,753 ratings.