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
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a burnished copper color. The head is very fluffy, if not the tallest at only a finger. While the off-white colored head doesn't have great retention, it does leave a ring of lacing on the glass.

S: Dogfish Head actually didn't overdo it with the spices - and that's a good thing in this case. Many times, I've had a pumpkin ale that smelled good but tasted unpleasantly spicy. This smells like it's full of brown sugar, with a touch of gourd character and spicing only existing as a subtle background note. So I'll probably like this more than the Pumpkinheads of the world.

T: Actually, the bitter nutmeg character seems to come through more strongly than the nose suggested. And that's not a good thing in this case. A pleasant canvas of brown sugar and caramel sweetness open it up, with the slightly problematic spice notes appearing in the middle, and fading away as more is drunk. The finish is faintly nutty and mineral water-esque, with something resembling hops occasionally.

M: It's a weird combination of full-bodied and sharp (due to the carbonation). Somehow, this works to give it decent drinkability combined with the dry finish. Once the carbonation fades, it becomes merely full-bodied...and loses its drinkability in the process.

O: It's not great, but it's better than a few others in the style I've had. It has potential as a pumpkin ale for those who don't like pumpkin ales. It's also reasonably complex and only offers a mild spice note. But to me, it still tastes a little uninspired. It's been a while since I've properly enjoyed something from DFH (I think it was a 2011 bottle of WWS), and this doesn't quite change my mind about that.

Photo of throwthechaff
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was kind of disappointed in this seasonal brew from dogfish and I am beginning to think that most of their beers get more credit then they deserve because they all taste the same in just little ways. You can totally taste the alcohol in this one and even though the pumpkin taste is very good and very real it does not make up for how boring the rest of the brew is. I don't know if I just do not care for these pumpkin brews. I have had a minor handful of them, (not talking dogfish head) and still have one that i thoroughly enjoy. The only reason i come back to them is because i love pumpkin but have not yet found one that translates into beer. I would totally pass on this one, i think dogfish gets to much credit for beers that all taste the same in ways. Overpriced and not worth it.

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

Appearance: Brilliantly clear pumpkin-amber in color. An inch and a half of off-white colored head rises, lasting a few minutes before eventually receding to a ring.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice, with nutmeg especially standing out. There's a bit of squash-like aroma, but I wouldn't necessarily identify it as pumpkin. Beyond the spice, there's actually not much.

Taste & mouthfeel: Caramel sweetness, pumpkin and a motherload of spices. It tastes like someone knocked the spice rack into the brewing kettle. I do enjoy pumpkin pie, so this is fairly enjoyable stuff, but they went a bit far here. A medium body and moderate carbonation make this easy enough to drink, but the spices add a slight astringency to the finish that I could do without. A good brew all the same, probably one of the better pumpkin beers I've tried.

Notes: Not bad, but becomes a chore to drink after a while due to the excessive spicing.

Photo of Likeburning
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium to full bodied and quite spicy, I was apprehensive about the pumpkin flavoring at first, but quickly won over by this seasonal beer. Almost as if you're drinking in the turning of the leaves. I haven't found a Dogfish Head yet that I didn't like.

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

12 oz bottle, part of my recent BIF 3.0 package. Poured a deep amber, with a fairly good head that didn't stick around long, and minimal lacing on the glass. Aroma is allspice and maybe a hint of cinnamon, but weak and even lacking in pumpkin. It smells more like a spiced ginger ale. Taste is more of the spicyness with some hops thrown in. This isn't a bad beer, for my first punkin beer, but I find it a little lacking in the body. It has a good start and a decent finish but it needs a kick in the middle.

Photo of wonderbread23
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Crystal clear amber orange. Tiny head which quickly disperses leaving very little lacing.

S: Cinnamon, molasses, pumpkin pie with a subtle malt sweetness.

T: Spice up front with residual cinnamon bitterness that persists through the finish. Slight touch of alcohol covered well by spices.

M: Medium bodies; lighter than I would have suspected for this style of beer. A little thin for my taste.

D: Would be great with desert after dinner... maybe with rich vanilla icecream.

Overall, I was a little disappointed. I haven't had many pumpkin ales, but was hoping for something a little richer.

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

Pours a nice clear copper color with a weak head that disappears.

Smells like allspice. Can't say I can pick up anything else.

Flavor seems the same as the smell. It starts off as a weak beer, then ends with allspice, pumpkin, and nutmeg. The aftertaste has quite a bit of bitterness. Heavily carbonated.

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin beers. I'm not even a big fan of pumpkin pie, don't shoot! And don't tell grandma.

Photo of dolemite77
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours frothy into a nice lacy head... color is similar to bourbon, but with LOTS of carbonation... aroma is as expected- pumpkin pie. Flavor is a bit thin for me, with a little too much pumpkin, and not enough malt to balance it out... it is much better than the macro pumpkin beers that always pop up this time of year, mainly due to the higher alcohol of this... if I put myself in the mind of a winter warmer, it becomes more palatable to me... I might like this to be a bit darker, with less pumpkin, and more spice... that might round it out better for me.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The bottle called this a brown ale with pumpkin spice (and some other shit)... I was expecting it to look like a brown ale based on this. Instead, this was a coppery amber color, perfectly clear, with some cream colored head at the top.

The smell and taste were among the better attempts at pumpkin ale that I've had the chance to try; but I've really only had one that was worth drinking... And I don't think this was anywhere near the caliber of that one.

The strong point of the beer for me was the mouthfeel. Everything else was 'meh'. Nothing special.

Photo of spike882
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice golden orange color with a relatively nice thick head the disipates fast. A little astringent in taste to me even after pouring into a pint glass. Also had this on tap at one pub and enjoyed it much more. A little to spicey for my tastes but would still reccomend to try it.

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

Type: Pumpkin Ale
Color: Amber
Body: Lightly carbonated.
Head: Almost non existent. I poured it and the tiny head just disappeared.
Taste: The lack of a head was made up for by the taste. The first thing you taste is most definitely taste the brown ale first. Robust dry taste led by lots of spices pumpkin being a nice addition.
Aroma: Very robust and dry. You can definitely smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. You almost can't smell the pumpkin until you detect it's slight aroma.

This will be a fine addition to my wall of fall beer. Trying this beer brings me one step closer to trying all of the pumpkin beer out there!

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - clear orange brown, short tan head left random islands, not the best retention
S - caramel and grains, cinnamon and all spice, very subtle pumpkin
T - sweet molasses, the pumpkin is almost undetectable, typical spices and some alcohol
M - decent carbonation, fairly thin and tingly spice finish
D - too light on the pumpkin, decent spice highlights, a little thin and the alcohol was present, not the best i've had this fall

Photo of bigbubba
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice dark amber beer with a very small tan head. There was a sediment at the bottom which I didn't pour into my glass. It smells like a good ale, but with a heavy nutmeg aroma. This isn't as bad as many other Pumpkin beers I've tried. The taste is ok, I just don't like this kind of crap in my beer. The mouthfeel is good, without the decent body and 7% alcohol this beer would be undrinkable (by me). As for drinkability, yeah I might have another one- next year.

Photo of MookDawg
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, first off - full bodied brown ale? brown ale??? really?

Anyways, I love pumpkin ales, but the biggest problem I have with a lot of them is over spicing them. And I hate to say it, but this is very borderline to becoming over-spiced. It's nice, the color is great (aside from the brown ale thing), exceptionally clear, aroma is full of spice and some pumpkin, and the taste definitely has a lot of spice and not enough malty or pumpkin flavor.

My wife and I remembered trying this years ago and not liking it.... and that's hard for us to do. I recently brewed a batch of pumpkin brown, not realizing this was a "full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin", I stumbled on it tonight at the local bevy warehouse and thought I'd retry it.

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Second verdict - so-so. :-/

Photo of granger10
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Dogfish offering poured a bright orange with a golden hue. Head was smallish and lacing was minimal. Aroma consisted of brown sugar, ginger, and some caramel sauce. Taste lacked the pumpkin I was looking for. Lots and lots of brown sugar, way too much for my liking. This is overly sweet. Body is on the thin side, even after it warmed. Finish is a little tart almost and the alcohol gets noticed a bit. This just isn't my cup of tea, I had this along with four other pumpkin ales and it didn't really impress. The Michigan Brewing Co.'s offering was way better.

Photo of Premo88
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(2013 T 13 17 printed on bottle)

L: beautifully clear; orange, like a darker pumpkin; nice 1-inch head with a little stick (poured into pint glass, the head barely pokes up with no stick or lacing); looking at the beer and its clarity for some reason makes me want to try more Dogfish Head brews ... it's quite beautiful, though the lack of head in the bigger-mouthed pint glass is a slight downer

S: pumpkins for sure; grain; brown ale-like

T: something different; a pinch of brown sugar, pumpkin, very dry like a saison; grainly; absense of sweetness noteworthy, as if you're drinking a pumpkin rind; alcohol warms as you get into it; as it warms, spiced tea and some definite sugar; nutmeg lingers and in fact might be the overpowering note

F: solid all around, so much so that the feel helps the overall presentation appreciably

O: different and not bad, but it all seems a bit tamed down ... very dry and bland at times though it gets a bit of holiday feel (sugar, spice, nutmeg) as it warms -- and as my palate adjusted to the notes over the four-pack

a good once-through brew but overall not overwhelmingly good enough to make me want to buy more. if you like a dry quaff, though, this might hit the spot.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a rusty copper hue with a one finger white head that quickly dies down to just about nothing. No stickiness or lacing any where to speak of. Smell is of cinnamon and not enought pumpking. Lots of clove and nutmeg as well. I think the spices are a bit over the top and lack the pumpkin smell. Taste starts with an interesting creamy hop flavor with all the spices mentioned earlier. I really enjoy the hoppiness to this beer, but the flavors seem too artificial to me and a bit overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, a bit too much actually. Just had the Pumpking from Southern Tier and Punkin' doesnt even compare to it. I put a 22 oz. Pumpking down easier than a 12 oz. Punkin'. This one is just kind of "meh" for me.

Photo of bierguru
3.14/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A -
dark orange in body high carbonation head is white soapy fades rather quick

S -
pumkin pie smell almost exactly
pumpkin bold spice with a slight nutty smell

T -
spice up front and a mixture of cinnamon dull pumpkin taste backend is pretty sweet

M -
light and bubbly slight allspice bite

D -
its good not the worst but not the best the spice is bold and gets annoying after a while

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber-gold colour, with a thickish and rocky head of white foam. It disippates slightly, but leaves some good sticky lacing. Looks not unlike an English Pale Ale. Not bad, overall.

Some resin and spice on the nose, even a slight funk - it could be the pumpkin pie spices. Definitely something organic and slightly sulphurous on the nose, it's not terribly exciting or powerful, and the notes are just off enough to make you wonder if there's something wrong.

Taste is lightly sweet, with an initial spice hint that wells up until a rather phenolic bitterness on the back, fairly redolent with alcohol fumes. The spiciness is the only thing that keeps it from being thoroughly unpleasant, and while it does a reasonable job, I can't avoid that alcohol presence, which is very much pronounced for something weighing in at only 7%. Mouthfeel has a pleasant sheen to it, but the flavour is either thin or phenolically unpleasant, so it doesn't have much to work with.

Not one of my favourite American brews, and yet again I have to say I'm disappointed with a style of beer I wish I could get to like. Have I just had bad examples?? Something tells me that there's a beautiful, wonderful pumpkin ale out there somewhere... Unfortunately, this isn't it.

Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Photo of mattbk
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Wow, this beer is very interesting looking, I've never seen anything like it. It's clear, and appears to have been filtered; but its filled with junk, which I'm assuming are spices, or maybe pumpkin. On second look, it may be yeast. Light brownish, slightly amber.
S- Subtle spice, mostly cinammon in the nose. Esters, almost seems like this could be a British yeast. Not very aromatic, was expecting a bit more.
T- Hmm. Not sure I'm a fan. The first taste was brown sugar, but followed closely by a burnt malt flavor, which was out of place and a bit off putting. Perhaps that was the pumpkin flavor. The fruitiness from the yeast comes though in the flavor too. Slight malt sweetness, becoming more evdient as the beer warms. A little bit musty. Some alcohol in the finish too, warming as it goes down. I don't find this to be pleasant.
M- This seems overcarbonated. The body is fairly light, not sure that makes sense with the beer either, I suppose the light body is trying to make it drinkable? Confusing.
O- Maybe I have a bad bottle? I don't think I would get this again. The beer is being trying to be bold and approachable at the same time, and it just winds up being confusing.

Photo of dauss
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Standard 12oz bottle. Bottled on 8/16/2007. Other than that not much else. Standard DFH labeling format.

Appearance: Light amber color with a light hint of orange. Almost nonexistent head, even with a vigorous pour and served at cellar temperature.

Smell: The smell is quite well balanced. None of the spices are overpowering in the aroma. Nutmeg, caramel, brown sugar, and a light touch of allspice.

Taste: Not much spice flavor in this beer. Just a standard malt body, slight hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, moderate hop bitterness, with pumpkin and alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side with thin mouthfeel.

Notes: Not too bad of a pumpkin beer. I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the spices like a lot of other breweries do. The base of the beer is nice. Would be easier to drink if the alcohol wasn't so high.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep orange color with a white head that lasts a while, some decent lacing.
Smells of deep spices -- some nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and others. Some deep pumpkin notes and malts as well.
Tastes much the same but smells much better than it actually tastes.
Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation.
Fairly drinkable.

Photo of brantadid
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a clear amber color with a thin white head. No lacing to speak of.

Smelled of nutmeg and cinnamon. I really expected more out of the nose.

All I can taste in this beer is spice. Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon. I personally feel it is over spiced. Very long, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is light. Carbonation is moderate.

A four pack is enough. I look forward to trying next years release however.

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