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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

826 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 826
Hads: 2,451
rAvg: 2.86
pDev: 26.57%
Wants: 33
Gots: 392 | 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.
View: Beers (52) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 826 | Hads: 2,451
Photo of Ricochet
2.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's going to be fall, and my beer store had a ton of Pumpkin beers to try. I am still looking for one as good as I got from The Quarrymen brew (way gone) and I hope that I will eventually...

This was okay. It was a darker yellow but not quite amber and had mild carbo and head. It smelled like Ballantine ale, so I thought "cheap ale" with just a hint of pumpkin spice. Mouth went average. It was like any other ale . Taste was interesting. The pumpkin flavor was slight and incedental but I couldn't taste any ale. It was just like Ballantine with pumpkin flavor, odd , but okay! It had a wierd "cerial" aftertaste too.

This was the cheapest beer in my sampler, 67 cents a bottle, I didn't buy Ballantine this time around but I could see getting this again in place of Ballantine only during the fall. (810 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.31/5  rDev +50.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

VEry light gold color for a pumpkin ale, looks like a standard macro lager. Smell is perfect for what pumpkin ale should be, like chai and pumpkin pie filling, the spices are well balanced and remind me of Autumn. The taste is a nice mix of a light malt and hop flavored beer with a good dose of pumpkin pie spices. I like it, although I wish they would've gone higher ABV, making the an Autumn Warmer, maybe? Anyways, this is by far the best pumpkin ale I have had, I wish there were more representations of the style around. (526 characters)

Photo of steinlifter
3.44/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a clear golden, head dissipated quickly, left broken sudsy head all the way through.
pumpkin spice and grain aroma
taste was of pumpkin spices and light hops.
mouthfeel was thin and watery.
drinkability is average, o.k as a novelty once a year, but I've had better pumpkin ale, it's quite smooth, and watery...I was hoping for a bit more body. (355 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
1.5/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very pale, not much head. Smells of potpourri soaking in an oversweet pilsner. Gaudy spicing already rears its head. Taste is not to my liking in the least. The flavor does not make me think of pumpkin at all, just nutmeg cinnamon soda. Yup, thin and bubbly and the finish has rotten fruit flavor that could remove paint. I will not be buying this one again. (358 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin beers always sound like a bad idea, but they usually turn out tasty. Looks a basic golden with orange hues and a bit cloudy. Moderately carbonated and not much head retention or lacing. Smells softly sweet and spicy. Tastes lightly of barley malt and pumpkin pie. Spices of allspice, nutmeg, cinamon, and pepper follows closely. A soft and safe beer. No flavors dominate. Body falls a bit short of firm. Aftertaste is mildly spicy, but fades quickly. A little too soft for my liking, but an ok beer. (507 characters)

Photo of TheGoon
3.57/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not at all bad as far as pumpkin ales go. It pours a light golden color with a thin white head. Very little lacing to speak about. The smell is very inviting with hints of pumpkin pie spices including ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. The pumpkin flavor is mild with a little bitterness. It has a crisp, clean mouthfeel.

I actually enjoyed this beer more than the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale simply because of the smell and feel the Shipyard beer has. Definitely worth a try. (468 characters)

Photo of rowew
2.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with best by info notched on the side. "Malt Beverage with Pumpkin Spice Added"

Appearance: Poured bubbly and golden with just a slight tint of orange. Thin head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Almost completely cinnamon .. not even pumpkin pie spices, just cinnamon.

Taste: Taste is not at all beer-like. Mainly cinnamon and nutmeg - no pumpkin tastes detected. Light bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel.

Overall impression: Umm .. I don't think this is beer. It isn't all that bad, but it isn't beer. (554 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.57/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light gold with a low white head and decent carbonation but no lace. Light cinnamon and nutmeg pumpkin spice aroma and taste but not very meaty for a Thanksgiving holiday. Light bodied with a crisp clean spicy finish.

Not suprisingly, very similiar to Sea Dog Pumpkin which is contract brewed at Shipyard from my understanding. Not great but easy enough to pound a few.

Per label: "Malt beverage with pumpkin spice added"

Per Shipyard website: Wheat Ale. Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Best Before: Jan '05 (notched on label)
Tasted: 02/01/05 (545 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fizzy yellow with a big white fluffy head (which saves it from a lower score). Aroma of pumkin spice, bread, and no hops. Aroma very slight. Flavor- definite pumpkin pie spices. Not great- it's ok for what it is, but I can't get excited about it. Mouthfeel is very light, thin, weak, take your pick of terms.

Glad I tried it, it's not bad, but not anything I'm interested in trying again. (399 characters)

Photo of maxpower
1.16/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Clear and bright golden-orange color with a small off white head that doesn't last long, no lacing either, aroma of spices, pumpkin and insect repellent? Some spice and pumpkin flavor hard to taste over the nasty chemical flavor. Light body with a light and crisp mouthfeel, something is terribly wrong with this one, I had to dump it. (335 characters)

Photo of vitesse
2.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from 12 oz. brown bottle.

pours a straw golden color. no cloudiness and poor head retention. looks like a lager in the glass. smells of spices and fruity esters. tastes like schlitz with a touch of nutmeg and cinammon mixed in.
spices don't really overpower the beer, but there ain't no damn pumpkin flavor in this at all. i didn't percieve any diacetyl, either, which is a common complaint wrt shipyard beers.
not undrinkable, but not an extraordinary beer, either.
i would call this more of a golden ale (light color and body, with lots of ale characteristics). not pumpkiny, though. (600 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.12/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pumpkin flavor in this beer seemed so far in the background so as to receive little notice. The predominant flavor was a sharp pie spice, nutmeg was my guess. Other than that, the beer was pretty one-dimensional. Not bad, but a "one is enought, I've tried it" beers. (270 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
3.65/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a clear light orange color with one finger of head. Not much lacing on the glass. The smell is very very clovey. A little sweet as well. The taste is light on the pumpkin, but heavy on the cloves. Lots of spice, and a little bit of residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is fairly nice and strong. The drinkability is pretty good as well. Not too bad. (391 characters)

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.2/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I couldn't believe the poor ratings that this has received when I looked up pumpkin beers. Well, anyway, I loved this beer and it is tied for my #1 pumpkin beer along with Boston Beer Works pumpkin. This beer has just the right amount of spice and no slimy after feel that some people wrote about. I also, supplied this at a party and people loved this as well as the Post Road that I had supplied which was also a hit. (419 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.97/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pumpkin and pale malt scent. The cinnamon sticks out the most. It is quite pleasant. The taste is good also. This is a lighter pumpkin than most. It has a very light pumpkin flavor that is balanced nicely with pale malts and cinnamon. Most of these type brews offer a very mild pumpkin flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good seasonal. It is lighter, but not worse. I think some that are more obvious with the flavor are less drinkable at times. This is good anytime. (655 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.91/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - golden with a slight orange tint. White bubbly head fills the void in the pint glass and unevenly falls down. The most average looking of all the pumpkin ales I've tried this season. Nothing to suggest that this is anything distinctive,

Aroma - better. Fragrant but not heavy cinnnamon and spice, a complementary sweetness in there as well.

Taste - rivals the Buffalo Bill's for most intense cinamon taste. Non-descript malts, their presence is more felt than tasted. Somewhat one-dimensional but should appeal to cinnamon lovers.

Mouthfeel - a light-bodied and crisp beer, lends itself to a session choice more than its peers.

Drinkability - your affinity for spiced beers greatly affects how drinkable you consider this to be. I think it's pretty good. (779 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.14/5  rDev +44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color (a little light for the style) with a small head that dies off quickly. The aroma is great. Lots of nutmeg spices and cinnamon - yummy. The flavor is much the same. The pumpkin spices are well placed here as they comprise most of the flavor, but aren't overwhealming. Nice mouthfeel and body. This doesn't stand up to Dogfish Punkin Ale, but it is better than most others. (393 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.12/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a yellow golden color with a small head that rings the beer after it falls. The nose is the nose is a big blast of nutmeg and cinnamon with a background of sweetness. The flavor is pretty heavy in the spice. The aftertaste is the pumpkin, but the initial is really spicey. I like it. The feel is a moderately thick one. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as well. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had recently. (434 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with best before Jan 05. Pours a clear golden color with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. White foamy head, which disappeared very quickly, leaving no lace at all on the glass. Faint spicy, cinnamon smell. Very pale malt flavor, combined with nutmeg, cinnamon and other pumpkin spice flavors. Very sweet, hardly any bitterness at all. I would say that the spices in the aftertaste leave a nice flavor on the palate. Light body with lots of carbonation. This beer is very sweet. The small malt flavor is too light, and doesn't seem to go well with the spices. It wasn't horrible, but I can't see having more than one of these. (659 characters)

Photo of Gavage
2.28/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very light golden yellow in color with no head. Very light carbonation makes this look totally flat. Looks like apple juice. One of the worst looking beers I have seen. The aroma is there, as some spice is lightly noticeable. The flavor strange as cinnamon / nutmeg flavors stick out like a sore thumb, and the pumpkin and malt is way in the background. The cinnamon lingers way too much.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rather dull. The drinkability of this is just a step above awful, I couldn't finish the single bottle I purchased. (542 characters)

Photo of Admiraldinty
2.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours yellowish with a thin, macro-like fizzy head. Aroma is of the spices that you would find in a pumpkin pie. No pumpkin to be had. Could not really detect much malts in aroma, which was suprising. Very thin, astringent, heavily carbonated mouthfeel. Taste was lame pumpkin spices and not much else. Even the spice taste was somewhat weak. Kind of reminded me of a very weak winter spiced beer. Just like a spiced beer, a person could not drink too many of these without it getting monotonous. However, the other weak points will also keep you from having another. (567 characters)

Photo of wailingwench
3.73/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

People, this is a SPICE BEER, not a pumpkin ale. The label states that Pumpkinhead is flavored with pumpkin spices...nothing about pumpkins. The majority of the reviews mention something about pumpkins...well, read the label. Granted, if you want a pumpkin ale, there are better offerings. Shipyard may have found the bridge between the malty Oktoberfest and the spiced winter ales. I seriously think that all the reviewers need to re-evaluate their ratings.

This said, I will admit that one out of the two beers that we purchased was slightly sub par. My rating is based upon the best one.

Eye Candy: Nothing special, lager-like with a fizzy head that quickly gave way to very thin lacing.

The Nose Knows: Sweet, spicy notes. Since everyone is obsessed with pumpkin pie, Pumpkinhead smells similar to a pumpkin pie cooking. The sweetness initally overpowers the spices; as this beer warms, the nutmeg and allspice emerges.

Tongueland: Thin, thin, and more thin. Initial sweetness gives way to lingering nutmeg/allspice. Again, as it warms, the flavors emerged. The intensity of the spices increased as Shipyard warmed.

Bender Factor: This offering is warming- best to enjoy on a transitional fall day when raking the first leaves. I will again state that this is not a pumpkin ale, it is a spiced ale. If you like styles such as Harpoon Winter Warmer, this is a must try. (1,389 characters)

Photo of brentk56
2.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden color with a quickly dissipating, though large head; some lacing.

Smell: A cross between pumpkin pie and orange juice

Taste: Relatively flat taste with a bit of clove and nutmeg that doesn't really capture the spices all that well; the buttery flavor is a little strange on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad but not memorable (400 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz longneck, brown bottle, with twist-off cap. BBE month notched on label.

This ale poured a clear, golden color, with creamy, white foam that persisted a while, and with good, steady bubbling. The smell was slightly fruity and sweet and a bit tangy. The taste was lightly sweet with light malt and some cinnamon and mild spices. Very low hops. There was a bit of buttery diacetyl in the finish. Overall a bit thin on flavor. The mouthfeel was smooth with light body and moderate carbonation. This was OK to drink, but not very memorable. (544 characters)

Photo of danadeny
2.68/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden clear and fizzy body, little head, looks just like a pale ale. Faint smell of nutmeg, and faint lemon, fresh smelling overall. Flavor has lemon up front, nutmeg middle, and a slight corn finish and aftertase. Mild hops if any at all. everything is mild which leads to a good drinkability. overall ok, but i like pumpkin ales with stronger flavors. (354 characters)

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
67 out of 100 based on 826 ratings.