Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,990
Reviews: 2,016
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 322
Gots: 967 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,990 | Reviews: 2,016
Reviews by wknight167:
Photo of wknight167
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours a slightly hazy dark copper with very little head that quickly disappears. Carbontaion is persistent, reminiscent of champagne bubbles.

Nose- Liquid pumpkin pie. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and crystal malt.

Palate- Very little in the way of hops, but not overly sweet. The scents mentioned above follow through into the palate, plus a faint citrus flavor in the background.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, low carbonation, but it works for the beer.

Drinkability- good for the holidays.

More User Reviews:
Photo of StoneTSR
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%

APPEARANCE: The color is not what one might expect from a “full-bodied brown ale”. In fact, it is a bright, but hazy orange color. A half-finger of white head rises and falls within seconds of the initial pour. A layer of wispy foam remains, covering most of the surface of the beer. Quite a few bubbles can be seen popping up towards the surface at varying speeds, giving this beer a nice, lively look.

SMELL: Now the “brown ale” piece of this is coming through with a fair amount of roasted malt aromas that make up the majority of the smell. Just underneath that roast, though, is a very strong pumpkin smell…and not the fake, pumpkin pie smell (which I often like), this is the real deal, pumpkin smell. Some pie spices flirt with the nose as well, but they are subtle.

TASTE: The roast flavors match the aromas in intensity and, for this beer, dominate the flavor profile for me. And again, the true pumpkin flavor comes in right underneath it, but this time the spices are closer to the front and center than in the nose. The heavy roast also brings out what is almost a woody flavor, along with a touch of vanilla.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied and on the sweet side for an average beer, but a little dry for many Pumpkins on the market. There is a touch of stickiness on the front end, but it certainly dries while going down.

OVERALL: Dogfish Punkin is a pretty solid beer. I do appreciate that I can detect a lot more actual pumpkin flavor and aroma than in most others, but I would appreciate a little more sweet and spice. I’m sure many people out there may prefer this, however.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a packaged on date on the side of the label.

LOOK: Clear, tea color, good lacing

SMELL: Pumpkin pie spice, mild alcoholic esters, sugary, gord meat

TASTE: Smooth, a bit creamy, medium bodied, biscuity, expressive esters, raisins, faint rum, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes sweet and spicy

Hands down this is the best bottled pumpkin brews I have ever had, it is nice to see a brewery have enough courage and inspiration not to brew a pumpkin soda-beer. I would not have expected anything less from Dogfish Head. Thankfully there are pumpkin beers like this that are not one and done.

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured amber in color with just a few bubbles floating on the surface and a light amount of carbonation.
S: There's a moderate aroma of pumpkin, spices and sweetness in the aroma that comes very close to resembling pumpkin pie.
T: The taste has a good balance between sweetness and spices; the flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar and the spices really stand out.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and silky smooth.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely try this again because the taste is rather interesting and complex for the style.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with some lighter highlights. Good lacing.

S: Lots of pumpkin flavor along with all the accompanying spices. The brown sugar is a really nice tough.

T: Like the smell, this one is all pumpkin pie, and the sweetness added by the brown sugar is just incredible. The spicing is absolutely perfect. By far the best-tasting pumpkin beer I've ever had.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium body.

D: Everything gets to be a little much to have more than one, but this is a damn fine brew.

Photo of Arch578
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Appearance: Very clear orange-ish copper color, with a thin, white head.

Aroma: Nice blend of fall spices (nutmeg, clove, cinnamon) and fruitiness.

Taste: Lots of spice, very reminiscent of a winter warmer (GLBC Christmas Ale in particular). The pumpkin itself is almost undetectable, though there are definitely some fruity undertones.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, has a nice crisp carbonation but also a slightly syrupy feel.

Overall: As the label says, this really is a perfect beer to warm up with. Spices are front and center, so fortunately they are excellently blended and really match up with the platonic idea of pumpkin pie. I would love to have this with a little vanilla ice cream or just whipped cream on the side.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to a fizzy soda like cap. No lacing was present.

S - Smells of sweet bread dough, tangy fruits, and pumpkin pie spices.

T - Bitter/spice taste to start out with a malty aftertaste.

M - Decent carbonation gives a bubbly coating feeling in the mouth.

D - Solid niche beer. I am glad I tried this beer and I would probably get it again in the fall but it wasn't something I would drink a lot of. Definitely one of the best pumpkin ales though...

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say this one is the best pumpkin ale I have had a real nice brew.Pours a burnt orange color with a real nice creamy 1/2 inch head that leaves some nice lacing,aroma is of some serious nutmeg and cardimum with light cinnamon notes.Taste hits with a real pumpkin flavor with the sices hitting after the initial pumpkin flavor so you get the whole spectrum of flavors.A great all around beer definently with the weather changing right now.Very nice,had at Tavern 616 in North Wales,PA.

Photo of Marty
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep red amber/orange and transparent. Minimal head, but nice tiny bubble action. Surprisingly not much in the way of aroma, not that I was expecting it to smell like a freshly baked pumpkin pie... but man, would that be sweet.

Strong alcohol backbone, and DOES taste surprisingly like pumpkin pie. No aftertaste to speak of, for better or worse.

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a collage of orange, copper, and amber with a thick, white, fluffy head. The aroma hits big with pumpkin aromas and spices. Heavy on the nutmeg as well, which gives off a bit of an "egg-nog" vibe - very cozy and very nice. Some alcohol warmth and fuzziness on the mouth, following bi with cinnamon, nutmeg, and faint pumpkin pie. Thin to medium body, slightly creamy and slightly crisp with lots of carbonation - overall a nice mouth.

Pretty good pumpkin beer. The price is a little steep, but it's definitely one of the more enjoyable pumpkin beers out there.

Photo of blackearth
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a bright, orange-amber body with an off white head that eventually falls completely. Aroma is sticky sweet sugar, like cinnamon buns. Pumpkin is also detectable in the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with big malt sweetness upfront in the flavor. There's brown sugar and pie spice flavors in there too. There's a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish and a slight alcohol warmth as it goes down. Very good beer for a cool October evening.

Photo of tuckevalastin
4.64/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer on tap, in the bottle, and from a cask and it's a wonderful all around beer. The aroma is similar to "punkin" pie and is quite noticable. The taste closely matches the aroma and the 7% alcohol is hidden beneath the spiced flavor.

An almost perfect example of a fall beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a clear reddish orange color with a small head. The first smell is of pumpkin goodness....just like a fresh baked pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh cut pumpkin. Fall in a glass.

Taste is quite intriguing I must say. The pumpkin and spice are well balanced and this tastes very natural. It's not a doctored pumpkin taste. It leaves a wonderful aftertaste in my mouth as well. Nice and spicy with a wonderful pumpkin taste that is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is good and this baby goes down smooth. A few of these on a cold fall evening would be wonderful. Drinkability is good as well. This is damn tasty and I could finish the 4 pack in one night if I was in the mood. This gets me in the Fall / Halloween spirit and I highly recommend this seasonl brew to all. DFH does not fail to impress me yet again!

Photo of blitz134
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up tonight. I haven't had too many pumpkin beers in the past, but I've been interested in branching out from my usual goto styles.

Truthfully I dont know what pumpkins smell like, maybe I do...just a fair warning for this review, haha...

Clear, copper, orange body. Small, just off white head to start with that was a bit fizzy and reduced down to a ring around the glass with floating patches of bubbles. Lots of carbonation here, just no sticking power.

Has what I would say smells like pumpkin but with some hints of toasted malts underneath. Definate spice characters come out. Smells like the label says really with nutmeg and cinnamon and allspice, fairly evenly balanced.

Nice toasty malt base is the main thing that comes through here. A hint of pumpkins and then the spices again, especially after the swallow and the following breaths. Some hints of brown sugar linger with the faintest wisps of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it might actually be reduced some by the carbonation which adds a touch of pricklyness (if that is a word). Flavor lingers though, mostly the malty side, but the spices are there, just not as predominant.

Overall this is a pretty good beer. Not much sign of the 7% ABV, the aftertaste is nice toasted malts instead of some overpowering spices. Pretty easy to drink actually, I could see having a few of these and then the alcohol giving you a kick.

Photo of nickadams2
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pale amber/ light bronze. Thin white head that reduces to a thin ring. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S_Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin,barley.

T_Spices upfront. Cinnamon and nutmeg compliment rather than overpower as in some other pumpkin ales. Earthy pumpkin flesh and roasted barely.

M_Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick,creamy mouthfeel.

D_Pretty well balanced pumpkin ale. Higher ABV than the usual but still pretty damn drinkable.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I consider Dogfish Head's Punkin to be the best pumpkin ale I have ever had, I must say that this year's batch does not stand up to the fantastic 2004 Punkin.

This year's Punkin seems to be a lot less "bold." The flavors and spices are a bit quieter - no so upfront & in your face. However, this year it has a luscious mouth to it - very mild, low carbonation, with a creamy head. This is unlike all the other pumpkin ales, as every other one I've had has the carbonated bite in the mouthfeel. A very pleasant, pleasing difference.

The brown sugar is very present, without making the beer overly sweet, if that makes sense. Punkin is a bit darker - more of a deeper, healthier orange, compared to Smuttynose Pumpkin's bright orange glow.

Well, like I said, I dont think this year's Dogfish Head Punkin is as good as last year's, but it is still the #1 pumpkin ale, as far as I'm concerned, and well worth the $7 / 4-pack.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 4pack of 12oz bottles. No date when packaged. It was an orange color with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated, some decent lacing. It had a sweet, spicy aroma, mostly nutmeg. Pretty sweet taste all the way through, and I thought a fairly sharp spice presence (? allspice). I found it to be a little thin in the mouth, and not a beer I would want a lot of.

Photo of NWer
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strictly an impulse buy from large display next to checkout at my local Central Market.
Poured into non-descript glass.
OK everything. Mildly pleasant taste but I have to wonder what all the fuss is about if this is typical of pumpkin beers.
Certainly not worth the price markup.
I got nothing out of it worth savoring.

Photo of warnerry
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 9/12/10

A - Pours a translucent copper color with 2 fingers of tan head that dissipates rather quickly; leaves lots of lacing behind.

S - Rather subtle compared to many other pumpkin/spice beers; some sweet bready malts with only hints of pumpkin spices (nutmeg and cinnamon).

T - A bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Nice hints of pumpkin. A lingering cinnamon/nutmeg aftertaste.

M - Moderate mouthfeel; a bit sticky. Nice amount of carbonation with a dry finish from the spices.

D - Overall, very nice; a pumpkin beer that doesn''t overdo the sweetness or the spices.

Photo of DamDweller
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 2010

Very nice head forms when this beer is poured. The hue is a nice reddish copper. The head remains for some time and leaves clear lines of retention. The beer effervesces continuously helping to maintain the head. The smell is predominantly cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight hint of pumpkin and rye. Taste is all about lightly sweetened pumpkin pie. The dominant flavors are nutmeg and cinnamon, but the focus on those spices helps make this beer quite drinkable. The beer seems to be a little light on the body. This beer to coat the tongue a little more considering it's a fall/winter beer. All in all, this is a good beer, and if one plans on drinking more than one, all is well.

Photo of marvin213
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer looks appropriately orange. A thin head dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like an amber. A pumpkin beer that looks orange is purty cool in my book.

Brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. That's really all I smell. I don't know exactly what allspice is, and I struggle to get the nutmeg. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkiny. Even if the aim is more pumpkin pie-like, the nose has less substance from that which it claims as namesake.

The prevalent brown sugar makes it more Indian Brown like its cousin than Indian Red like Thanksgiving...and autumn, and everything else we're supposed to associate with pumpkins. It's not quite as pumpkiny as it should be. Only the cinnamon makes it seasonal. Maybe the real pumpkin makes it look orange, but pumpkins don't exactly smash my taste buds. Perhaps I wouldn't want them to, but I'm left wanting more pumpkin from this pumpkin ale.

The cinnamon provides my cheeks a pleasant tingle and, as always, sugar sits well. The nutmeg presents a tad in the aftertaste, and more at the forefront would enhance this beverage. Again, I'm underwhelmed by the pumpkin effect. It feels more cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie).

Pumpkin ales are such a niche market--a definitively seasonal style. As such, I have relatively narrowed expectations. This one falls short. It's too sweet to sip multiples, and too strayed to serve seasonally. Though I have enough respect for DFH to keep trying every year, this is far from the go-to for the style.

Photo of Beaver13
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled 8/16/07. Pours a reddish amber with a small head that quickly diminishes to a thin ring.

The aroma is pumpkin pie - pumpkins and spices...yum! It becomes a lot more subdued as it sits.

The flavor is some biscuity malts with lots of pumpkin pie spices and a decent bitter backbone (almost too much in this beer). The mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation.

Overall, reminiscent of Anchor's Christmas beer but with pumpkin. It's not quite in the same league, but still very enjoyable albeit a bit pricey at almost $10 a 4 pack.

Photo of babyhobbes
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours an orange color with a small white head. It smells fantastic, spicy like pumpkin pie. There's allspice and cinnamon and even some clove I think. The taste is similar to the smell. There is a definite spice taste with a hint of pumpkin. The mouthfeel is thin and bubbly. This is a good spiced, drinking beer in my opinion. There is a good spiced drinking beer.

Photo of shapudding
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tagged as packaged in 2004. Dark honey golden and unclear. Can barely see through the pint glass to the shadows of my fingers on the other side... No head at all, just a thin white ring at the edges. Wonderfully spicey scents with a ton of raisin coming out. Karo sweetness. Makes me think of eggnog, must be the nutmeg that just wafts out of it. Such a nice smooth mouthfeel, the carbination gives it a bit of bite, but it really is just a perfect feel . This is just the right amount of carbination for me, not too much, just enough for the style. Malty and spicey, almost tastes a bit peppery at times. Caramelly/honey sweeness, but not intensely so. The spices really come out alot in the end, you are left with alot of clovey-nutmeg flavor in your mouth. This has been a longtime favorite of mine since the first try, and I have always described this as being like having a bite of pumpkin pie and following it up with a sip of good ale.

This was a Christmas gift from my Father, who is appreciating all the beer I have been letting him explore with... -My Dad who thought that he was finally a beer snob when he found Molson, but now is obsessed with Double Bastard! My darling Father who must have remembered me saying that I love Dogfish Head, and knows I call people Pumpkin, and gave me this 4pack at Christmas Eve. -Which was the first of the experiments with my beer opener beltbuckle (ask my horrified and wet friends, and ex-friends), and my punkin coated step-brother Ian...! -Well, everything was punkin coated, but hey, what are holidays for!

Photo of generallee
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It had a honey amber color with very good clarity. The head that was produced was light tan in color, average in size and slowly settled down to a thin covering. Lacing was spotty and it quickly slid down the glass.

Smell: The aroma was full of spicy clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste/Mouth feel: It has decent pumpkin flavor up front with a good solid malty body. Hints of sweet brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla notes mix in well and add a good, well balanced complexity. It finishes on the sweet side and slowly with mild spicy hops and mild warmth from its 7%abv. The palate has a slick, smooth texture with medium to full body and lively carbonation.

Notes: Wow this was good. I really enjoyed the balance of flavor and judicious spicing which gives it a great drinkability.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,990 ratings.