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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,992 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,992
Hads: 6,006
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
Wants: 338
Gots: 988 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.

28 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,992 | Hads: 6,006
Photo of rpjterp
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am not usually a fan of fruit in my beer but pumpkin is about as savory a fruit as you will find and it is the exception. This is my favorite take so far on a pumpkin beer.

Best described as an above average amber ale but the pumpkin flavors take it to another level.

Bubbles keep it lively and it feels light 7.0% abv.

Smell is just right for a quality amber ale with an overtone of pumpkin.

Perfect at Thanksgiving. Great gift to bring instead of the usual bottle of wine in the Fall. (497 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours speckled orange gold color with a ton of sediment floating around in it and a 1 finger cream off white head that faded on the fast side and left decent lacing.

Smells like pumpkin pie with a mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, bread crust, brown sugar, nutmeg, yeast, bready malt, earthy notes and some more light spices. The ingredients used and listed on the bottle all show up front and center and smell quite good. Really good take on the pumpkin beer style, it smells like a real pie.

Tastes like it smells but the spices are more pronounced as the allspice comes out and joins the cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and brown sugar; seems like coriander and cumin join the party too. Very bready with the pie crust/biscuit/wheat bread and wet cardboard yeast notes following the spices, then shifting to tea leaf, dry flowers and hops which add some balance yet let the spices and malt continue to trick your palate into thinking that this liquid bread is a pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with fizzy carbonation and a body that's a little lighter than average; it hides the ABV completely with the spices and flows down easy, finishing spicy and full of malt and pumpkin.

Overall a really good beer...I found this bottle in the back of my beer fridge, and even though it's over 6 months old it was still very tasty and I don't like most pumpkin beers in general. Dogfish Head nails it with this beer. (1,409 characters)

Photo of untitledeuphoria
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2014 Fall bottling. Drank 6.20.15. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Tulip.

A: Pours a hazy, orange tinted amber with a half finger of medium khaki head that quickly fades to a tall halo and transparent cap. Some suspended particulates, but I am guessing that might be from the age. I can't remember what it looked like when I had it fresh.

S: Spiced gingerbread cookies with a dash of brown sugar. Strong malt. Subtle and appropriate for a fall seasonal.

T: A light brown ale with some baked pumpkin, brown sugar, winter spice, and nutmeg. No bitterness whatsoever. Reminds me of brisk fall evenings.

M: Medium bodied, but feels lighter due to the carbonation. This really prickles at your lips and tongue. Has some after stick to it. A touch of alcohol, but not boozy at all.

O: I hate pumpkin beers. They all usually taste over processed, vegetable-y, or have had way too much spice and nutmeg added to them. But Dogfish did none of that, instead finding balance in subtlety. As a result, this is a beer that I actually like, one that come fall time, I routinely grab. (1,073 characters)

Photo of Ancalagon
4.56/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a huge pumpkin beer fan, and this is one of my top three. Pours a beautiful hazy orange color with a finger of head. Smell is amazing. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, along with pumpkin, dominate the smell. Tastes almost like it smells. Along with the spices and pumpkin, there is a caramelized vanilla taste. I would have preferred just a little more pumpkin flavor. Ends with some malty hop bitterness to round out. Feel is medium-full with a little carbonation. A very well rounded pumpkin beer. Perfect for fall/autumn. (521 characters)

Photo of beerme626
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I generally don't like the feel of pumpkin beers, because they are a bit too sticky for me. However, despite that, Punkin is a good drinkable beer, with clear pumpkin without overwhelming pumpkin spice. Some pumpkin beers are too sweet. This doesn't overdo it. (260 characters)

Photo of poppollutesminds
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Older varieties were much tastier. The current seasonal that is being put out is still good but no where near as good as it was when DFH really kicked off distribution. (169 characters)

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decent pumpkin ale. From the bottle, it pours a medium orangy amber color (at least to me) with a small head that dissipates quickly. A bit of pumpkin to the nose and mouth. (175 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 2013 edition poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, hazy, golden/orange color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds of foam that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very pumpkin-y and spicy. Tons of brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg. Strong notes of malt and freshly baked ginger bread too, however, not much in the way of hops.

Taste: Much like the aroma, tons of pumpkin and spice. Brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom. Finished with a little sour flavor that I don’t remember in years past. Finally, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. Some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7%, there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: A very good pumpkin beer. Great balance between the traditional malty/hoppy flavors of beer, balanced well with the pumpkin and spices. In years past this has been my favorite, but I’ve since had some excellent pumpkin beers this season that have moved Dogfish Head’s Punk down on my list of favorites. That being said, this beer will always have a place on my shelf in the autumn. (1,327 characters)

Photo of Harleydls
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pumpkin beers seem to have lovers and haters with not much in between. Personally, I love them so long as they are not too pumpkiny. This ale fits the bill though the 2014 version is not quite as good as prior vintages. The head and lace are lacking in the latest vintage and this effects the mouthfeel which seems dry. Otherwise a really nice spiciness and flavor. If you like pumpkin ales I don't think this one will disappoint. (430 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice honey orange color. Forms a finger of slightly off-white, medium-dense head.
S - Light touches of pumpkin and nutmeg, lots of beery pilsner notes. Aroma is nothing special.
T - Very good. Warm, sweet pumpkin meat, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol upfront followed by a malty and hoppy bitterness on the back end to round off the initial upfront sweetness.
O - A very good and well balanced pumpkin ale. Fans of the style will enjoy this brew thoroughly.
V - Medium value, came in a four pack of bottles. (534 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5/5
Pours a very clear orange-brown. No head. A moderate amount of large carbonation bublles flow upwards at a average rate. Nothing really special about the appearance

Smell - 3.5/5
Nutmeg, pumpkin, a little bit of tartness. Smells okay, I wish the smell was a little bit stronger and that there was more too it than just faint traces of nutmeg and pumpkin.

Taste - 4/5
Moderately sweet, nutmeg, pumpkin, tart fruit, faint alcohol taste. I really like the slight tartness which the beer has. The nutmeg/other fall spices are not overpowering which is nice. The sweetness is at just the right level Overall this is a nice taste for a Fall/pumpkin beer. The taste is perhaps slightly watered down in seems.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium-full in body. A light amount of moderate intensity carbonation. A sip starts of crisp, and becomes more creamy near the end of the sip. Though the beer has a medium-full body, at the same time it tastes kind of watery, and feels a little too watery in the mouth

Overall - 4/5
Overall, I thought this was a good fall/pumpkin beer. This is my first of the season, so maybe my thoughts will be different, after I have tried some other similar beers. (1,197 characters)

Photo of JohnnyI
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm.... a full bodied "brown ale"... not so sure about that. Despite the misleading description, it has a remarkably pleasant appearance. It is jubilantly orange, with an inviting glow when it catches the light. In fact, the playful and vibrant orange color is the attribute I enjoyed the most about this beer. Not far behind is the aroma. The spices and pumpkin meat meld in to an alluring symphony. My wife declared that it is "mouth-watering". She's not even a big beer drinker. As for the taste....This is a little bit on the cloying side with an initial sugary sweetness, followed by a harsh spicing regimen that sticks to the palate and never quite meshes coherently. The phenolic clove characteristics seem to override the malt presence and compete with a boozy fusel alcohol that rides through the whole experience. The pumpkin flavor is struggling to come through, as are the bready malts, but they get whacked in to submission by the booze and spice. Although not offensive, it's simply not the best-tasting pumpkin ale I've had. Not by a long shot. That said, the mouthfeel is quite nice. Creamy, perfectly carbonated with medium viscosity. Overall, this is a decent representation. I wonder if this beer would age well, perhaps mellowing some of the sharper edges with the spice and alcohol. Perhaps this one would be better with a slightly lower ABV? It's rare that I would suggest going smaller, but in this case, I feel like the higher gravity detracts from the beer. As with most quality brews, as it warmed and through the middle of the glass, the flavor profiles came together a bit more. Worth a try for sure, especially if you like palate-wrecking spiced beers. A tad overrated in my humble opinion. If you want a big pumpkin beer, try Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin. Of course, there's always Pumking for the over-the-top pumpkin experience. Personally, I recommend Smuttynose if you can get it. (1,916 characters)

Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. With that said, I'm not a big pumpkin beer drinker but I'm willing to try one every once in a while.

L - Dark Orange Color. Very little head that disappears quickly
S - Light Pumpkin smell with a cloves.
T - Pumpkin and cloves. Not too sweet but
M - Medium body, crisp and not overpowering.
O- Not too sweet and a good reminder what good pumpkin beer should be like. (414 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hard to move the needle in a pumpkin beer. The best of the lot is probably Carton golden squash beer -

A: Clear, orange tea color, decent lacing but a fast fade head (its the pumpkin and the sugar)

S: Good pumpkin pie smell, spice, esters, sugary, gord meat

T: Pie crust, dough, esters, raisins, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes nicely sweet and spicy. Balanced.

F: Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, finish is best part.

Mid pack pumpkin beer. (459 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear orange-brown, bubbles rise slowly, making the body looks pretty thick. White dense head that lasts quite a while. Lacing sticks around for a while. Artwork is pretty sweet.

S: Malt, light pumpkin, maybe clove (boo). The advertised spices are pretty faint, beyond just being subtle, but do provide some complexity.

T: Great combinations of sweet and warm malt, with pumpkin coming in afterwards and a light punch of holiday spices; nutmeg, allspice, fainter cinnamon. There is an unfortunate waft of wet dog every once in a while, but if you use your imagination you can make it seem like another layer of malt.

M: Smooth and thick, almost like melted ice cream.

O: Definitely one of the best beer-pie hybrids. Brought enough of that hedonistic pumpkin/spice theme while still providing real beer character. That wet dog flavor was a major setback, but most everything else was spot on. (899 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 2014 bottle, this certainly doesn't appear much like a brown ale, it is a crystal cler caramel gold, with a nice cap of cream coloured head with good retention and lacing.

S- aromas of canned pumpkin, pastry spices, nutmeg and allspice, like a pumpkin pie but store bought rather than homemade, lot of spice and played up pumpkin flavour.

T- notes of baked pastry, more roasty pumpkin, caramel, some robust bitterness, mostly earthy with a leathery dryness, herbal pine resins, some cinnamon and nutmeg spice, full bodied flavour through the middle leading to a drying finish with baking spices.

M- moderate body with a fairly heady carbonation, quite a cleansing effervescence, some nice dextrins to the body lending a somewhat creamy pumpkin pie texture, with a nice dry finish.

I was expecting this to be more porterish in style, as is this is much more a straight shooter pumpkin ale with a moderately caramel malt body. Dogfish. Did a good job of keeping this in balance, it's one of the more pleasing and balanced pumpkin ales that actually carries a solid pumpkin profile albeit with a good dose of spice. Well recommended and this was quite satisfying. (1,179 characters)

Photo of twosheds
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The orange color really works for a pumpkin beer.

Smells very much like pumpkin pie spices with some slight maltiness.

Malty brown sugar and caramel flavors with some nice blending of pumpkin pie spices. The spices become more prominent the more I drink it and linger for a while after each sip.

Has a lighter mouthfeel and quite a bit of carbonation that gets in the way of the pumpkin pie aspect of the beer for me.

This is one of the better offerings in this style, but doesn't quite match the quality of my favorite pumpkin beers. Although, I do think I could drink a few of these before getting overwhelmed by the pumpkin pie spices like many of the pumpkin beers around. (725 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic beer by hands down one of the best if not the best breweries in America. Pours a beautiful autumn orange color. I drank it from a big wine glass and loved it how the creamy lace looked as I swirled it around. Great sweet taste; malts, brown sugar, and of course pumpkin. A smooth finish. Amazing feel. So refreshing. The only thing that prevented me from rating it higher was a slightly metallic scent in the aroma. Do not know if it came from the bottle or the glass. I would like to reevaluate this considering everyone else here is talking about the strong aromas that were aligned with taste. Nevertheless, Dogfish Head never disappoints and they continue to be at the forefront of creative brewing.

P.S. I had it today again and did not notice the metallic aroma. Maybe it was the glass or maybe I was previously detecting detergent from the wash. Nevertheless, this time I detected a nice cinnamon and pumpkin aroma. I raised the score on the aroma. (973 characters)

Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On sight, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale pours clear, pale gold, hinting toward a caramelish brown. The scent it gives off is comprised of brown sugar, slightly caramelized, with hints of vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. The smell is vaguely creamy, with a hint of pumpkin. On the palate, it starts off slightly sweet, with a moderate mouth feel, and a delicate carbonization. Flavor wise, it’s full of brown sugar, light caramelization, cinnamon, allspice, and a touch of nutmeg. The pumpkin element is subdued, but still present, in a distinctly squashy kind of way. It finishes on the spicier side, with touches of butter and a hint of bitterness. (652 characters)

Photo of 49er
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Regardless of the label, this beer showed no flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice cinnamon or nutmeg. The color was the only thing I liked about this ale, light brown. (172 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml Bottle brought home to me from Virginia, USA:
Clear, bright amber to copper with a bubbly white lacing that covers the surface.

Lots of spice initially with pumpkin notes & sweetness. The alcohol content is well hidden & the aroma is well balanced with some bread but is the spices that dominate with cinnamon, nutmeg & various others featuring.

Spicy with some cinnamon & nutmeg alongside the sugar & pumpkin, there's a strong malt presence with bread & background fruits as well. Some hops make an appearance with hints of alcohol but these aren't the strongest with toasted malts & background fruits at the end.

Medium bodied with above average carbonation & a nice spicy feel to the beer that was tangy & had a good balance. The beer was quite easy to drink & smooth with a dry finish.

Easily the best pumpkin beer I've tried thus far & an excellent all round offering that falls short of being a classic but is very drinkable. Starting off quite spicy, I was initially fearful that this one would end up like some other pumpkin beers I've tried (namely Pumpkinhead from Brewdog) but thankfully this one was a lot more balanced & enjoyable, definitely one I'd pick up each year if it were available here in the UK. (1,228 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

3.25/4/3.75/4/3.75
For a supposedly brown ale converted to pumpkin, this is awfully light. Light amber body, large bubbles form the initial head, but dissipates almost immediately leaving nothing whatsoever on top OR on side. No mullet here!

As soon as I pop the top, the sweet spice notes start. Mmmmm.... I get sweet vanilla, some brown sugar, pumpkin, bready malts, and some allspice. The pumpkin is less pumpkin pie sweet and more meaty, like carving pumpkins, or more like pumpkin seeds tossed with brown sugar and vanilla (never done that particular combo, but this is making me think it might be pretty tasty...)

The taste starts off with a bit of that same vanilla, though less pronounced than the nose. pumpkin meat really comes in at the end, with bits of gourd-onic sweet-ish throughout the middle levels. A little bit of spice, and an almost honey-like finish. Again, the brown base declines to introduce itself, opting instead for an almost reddish (but softer) body. The malts are really soft and accessible. Smoothe finish, largely sweet with a soft finish and just a touch of bitter. Caresses rather than cloying

I feel like this is solid, if not particularly gourdbreaking. I actually prefer having a softer, sweeter base, as I don't have a particularly strong affinity for the sharper malts/amber base that a lot of pumpkins seems to use. That's just me, though. (1,384 characters)

Photo of BeerHistoryGuy
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Appearance: A surprise -- very clear with orange to amber color. Little bit of lacing with a thin white head.

Aroma: Terrific mix of spices (fall spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.)

Taste: I was surprised. It didn't taste like a true pumpkin ale, in that the pumpkin taste was very subtle..comes in afterwards. The hops balanced well with plenty of fall spices, and the subtle pumpkin/fruitiness at the end rounded out the taste very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a good amount -- just right - of carbonation. Very smooth beer, all in all.

Overall: For me, this was a fantastic beer all around. I have very little bad to say about it, other than that I almost wonder if the name should be more like an "autumn beer," or "fall brew," or something like that, rather than a pumpkin beer -- although pumpkin surely comes in at the end. Still, I'm giving it a 4.75/5 so I'm searching for an issue, here. In reality, It's the type of beer that would compliment a heart beef stew and work perfectly on a cold late-autumn day. The spices, hops, and carbonation are all perfect for me in this and the hint of pumpkin makes it that much better. I could go on and on, but this is a beer that ranks very high on my list of "must haves." (1,241 characters)

Photo of scaliasux
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L - Light copper. Mostly clear. Tall off-white head. Persistent.
S - Malty. Maybe some caramel malt with pumpkin. Some vague spiciness.
T - Sweet bready malts. Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie spices.
O - A good example of a not so great style. (239 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice orangy copper color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves light lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of toasty/bready malts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and some all spice.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has brown sugar, some bready notes, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. Not quite as flavorful as I was hoping it would be.

Serving type: bottle (589 characters)

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,992 ratings.