Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

1,994 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,994
Hads: 6,009
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 341
Gots: 990 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,994 | Hads: 6,009
Photo of bierguru
3.14/5  rDev -19.7%
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 (390 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
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. (1,265 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 mattbk
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
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. (1,190 characters)

Photo of dauss
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (859 characters)

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (324 characters)

Photo of brantadid
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of Mkfitz
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dogfish head is usually one of my favs but this year's batch showed to be a little weak. It was one of the 19 beers my friends and I sampled in a blind tatse test. It finished up in the middle of the pack. There were some real high scores this year. I posted the results at the Tristate Beer Blog : http://tristatebeerblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/great-pumpkin-tasting-results-and.html Enjoy! (389 characters)

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Little head with no lacing. Less pumpkin aroma than I was hoping for, more ginger notes and citrusy hop aromas. Nutmeg and ginger and malt notes on the palate with shades of molassas and burnt sugar. Stayed malty, even with evident hop bittering. More a gingerbread beer than a pumpkin beer. (299 characters)

Photo of Buebie
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtasy of Hogwildliquore.
Bottling date of 9/4/08

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. 1 finger white fizzy head. Transparent copper amber in color. Spotty lace, most of it slips back into the beer.

Aroma is quite oaky, some pumpkin pie spice, but mostly oak aroma and some alcahol fumieness.

Flavor starts out sweet with a good dosage of carbonation, more bittering oak flavor. Some alcahol warming at the swallow. Pumpkin pie spice kicks in after the swallow with a hint of cinnemon. Cracked peppercorn hop flavor. Smooth and clean finish with a hint of hop bittering.

Kinda put off by the big oak flavor and the bitterness. I was hoping for somthing a bit more sweet and desert like. Didnt like that peppercorn flavor either. Not a total loss though at 7% it should warm me up. :) (802 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear orange color with a small white fizzy head.

S- Smells spicy, perfumey and pumpkiny.

T- Tastes slightly of pumpkin and spices with alcohol apparent. A bit to aritifical for my tastes.

M- Thick with a medium amount of carbonation.

D- I feel done after only a few sips. Not a drinkable brew by any means but not hard to get down. (339 characters)

Photo of jmerloni
3.09/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A gorgeous pumpkin orange. Translucent. Big bright white head that's quite sticky.

S - Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg. Pretty mellow and dumbed down.

T - Mostly just spices again. Cinnamon and nutmeg and a some pumpkin. Not real hoppy or bitter at all.

M - Too thick for the style. Finish is nowhere near dry.

D - Probably wouldn't get this again. The viscosity is a little much for this kind of beer. There are a few better pumpkin ales out there. (450 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.09/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is going to be a quality taste test meeting. I have a good feeling about this one. This Punkin ale pours a mixed fall season leaves. The head is a light tan.

Huge Root Beer aroma. Sudbtle nuances of pumpkin and nutmeg illustrate the nose as well. This also kind of smells like a coke/vodka combination. It is quite wierd. It smells...just not great at all.

Blah. I'm struggling to get this stuff down. This stuff is total destruction to my mouth. No lack of flavor just bad flavor and this stuff is way too carbonated.

Yuck

Down the Drain

Not So Fast

This stuff is beginning to taste alright. It calmed down quite a bit. More spices are starting to come about. More pumpkin in the front palate. The mid-palate is still pretty gross but the finish has calmed and grown to be quite complex and lovely with banana creme pie cast as the most prominent "actor" in the play called "To Please My Mouth."

The mouthfeel has also grown to be quite lovely. Very full in the mouth.

Quite "alcoholic" in its linger. (1,033 characters)

Photo of cproioi
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The body of this beer was an orangish amber color with an off white head leaving decent lacing. No bubbles present in the body.
The aroma and taste of this beer was loaded with brown sugar, cinnimon, allspice and nutmeg. The pumpkin taste was extremely faint and hiding behind all the other tastes and aromas. The mouthfeel was sort of grainy, with bubbles present on the tounge. There was a slight alcohol feel to it also but rather slight. The finish was loaded with residual sugars that loaded the tounge down. The beer was alright but not really impressive. (562 characters)

Photo of dedalus
3.07/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well, this beer looks great ... reddish brown with a great tan head that sticks around for a while. moderate lacing.

great nose, too. lots of allspice and nutmeg, with hops holding up the rear.

thinnish mouthfeel, not horrible but not great, either.

hmmm. a definite lack of malt or pumpkin in the palate. kind of just hopwater with spices dumped in generously. a massive disappointment. they did a great job with the finishing touches, they just forgot to lay the foundation. i struggled to finish this one, and i wanted so much to like it. the finish, like the palate, was dominated by spices. forgive me for mixing baked goods metaphors here, but the icing on the cake doesn't count for much if there's no cake.

this brewery can and has done much better than this. by all means try it, but don't go buying a case without tasting it first.

cheers,

s.d. (875 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
3.07/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A: This beer pours a slightly cloudy, light orange hue. Fades to a golden straw color on the sides. A little lighter than I am used to. About a finger of off-white head emerges and gradually settles to a quarter finger, idly resting atop the beer. Looks more like an IPA than a big, hearty pumpkin ale.

S: I admire the fact that the bouquet on Punkin' has a lot of roasted pumpkin. This isn't just a "Pie Spices in a Beer" pumpkin ale. I get a decent amount of the vegetable smell and I'm digging it. Just a hint of the brown sugar, clove, and cinnamon. Good job.

T: Roasted pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Not pulling a lot in terms of malt or hop presence. The taste is certainly more spice forward, the vegetable notes take a step down here from the smell. Almost a medicinal finish.

M: I think this is were Punkin Ale suffers. Carbonation seems way too high for such a thin beer. The cinnamon (or is that allspice) really torches the back of my palate, too. Has a curiously dry, thin finish. Isn't a pumpkin ale supposed to be a savory treat? Mouthfeel here scream cheap and thin to me.

O: Not impressed. The beer smelled quite good, but the taste took a dive and the mouthfeel was poor. No malt presence to balance out the cloying and drying spices. Curiously high carbonation and an overwhelmingly thin feel. My guess is this would be a massive hit among the BMC drinkers, as it tastes like a Miller infused with pie spice. Not digging it. (1,502 characters)

Photo of Gasp100
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a nice, clear copper color with nice rising tan head and mild lacing down the glass. There was some scent that just seemed off to me -- I could get the pumpkin pie smell, but also like burnt rubber or something... weird.
The taste was pretty subdued. Definitely nutmeg, spice, cinnamon bit not nearly as pronounced as I remember it from last year.
I wasn't impressed as much this year; it is ok and I don't mind that it's subdued, but just not enough going on to keep me interested. (497 characters)

Photo of jakon
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle purchased for $2.29 on 9-23-7 at Cedar Hills New Seasons.

Pours a clear dark amber color with an impressive white head featuring tightly compacted bubbles which immediately remind me of the Fred. Aroma is primarily of malt and spices such as clove and cinnamon. The taste is malt liquorish with a little pumpkin and spice. The alcohol is out in the open and noticeable. Mouthfeel is light and almost watery with restrained carbonation. Overall, this is ok and I'm enjoying it, but it's really not something I'll seek out in the future. (550 characters)

Photo of tayner
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a very orange color with a 1 inch head that receeded down to a covering that laced decently.

it smelled of alcohol and pumpkin. i was expecting cinnamon but did not smell that at all

the label says pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I could only pick out the pumpkin and allspice, that was all. i expect the brown sugar is now the alcohol flavor i taste, but i think it was lacking the cinnamon and nutmeg. i was hoping it would be more "pumpkin pie" like but it was not.

it was light, and refreshing, more so than i expected for a fall/winter seasonal beer. was quite carbonated as well.

if you are a big fan of pumpkin and allspice im sure you could session this beer, but i think it needs more of a cinnamon and nutmeg flavor to be a fall/winter choice for me. (794 characters)

Photo of astronaut888
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came highly recommended at my local shop - pointed out to me on the last 3 visits by 3 different folks. Not too familiar with Pumpkin ales, but liked the idea of a 7% beer, so gave it a shot.

Appearance: Very pretty orange-amber (Like a Pumpkin!). Nice head for maybe 2 minutes - no real lacing to mention.

Smell: Regular "ale" aroma with hints of allspice especially as it warmed.
Not overwhealming pumpkin at all...kind of wanted more of a pumpkin smell

Taste: Decent ale, with maybe a hint of pumpkin spice...wouldn't have detected it if I hadn't known this was a pumpkin ale.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth with no alcohol bite at all for 7%

Drinkability: Very drinkable, if not remarkable....will certainly have no problem finishing this 4 pack - but probably wouldn't buy again....at least not until next fall!


Update...
While finishing the 6 pack over a few days, I realized something very odd...this beer REALLY has the aroma of a urinal cake!
Not bashing the beer, but it certainly has an odd aroma that I can only describe as the smell of urinal cake hitting yer nose when you walk into a public restroom...
Am I the only one who thinks this? (1,170 characters)

Photo of beerman21
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the look of this beer i would not say this is a brown ale on appearence alone. Smell was not what i expected nothing pronouced some pumpkin and malty background hints of spice. Taste of this brew was pretty well balanced with a sweet malty flavor hints of pumpkin but not to overwhelming. It has a nice hoppy background as well, creamy texture. Not a big fan of pumpkin ales. i've always wanted to find a decent pumpkin brew but everytime i seem to be disapointed. Luckily this by far is the best one i have tried. Doesnt taste like a artificial pumkpkin soda its a beers ladies and gentlemen and pretty decent one. Not great but decent give it a try but my days of buying pumpkin beers are over. (701 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Acquired as part of a four pack at the Cap 'N' Cork in Los Angeles a few hours ago.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a four finger white head of nice cream, pretty good thickness, and good retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour of the body is textbook transparent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Fairly vibrant, but nothing special.

Sm: Brown sugar, spice (including distinct cinnamon), clean malts, light toasted malts, and pumpkin. Pumpkin is substantial - a good characteristic for the style (you'd be surprised how many pumkin beers I've had that featured very little pumpkin). I'm excited for it. Aroma is dry in character and average in strength.

T: Spice and pumpkin are the first thing I notice, with some texture-affecting brown sugar throughout. The foundation is comprised of clean bland malts. The spices don't feel all that balanced. It's got body, but mostly because of the mouthfeel rather than the flavour. No yeast comes through at all. The pumpkin is nice. The brown sugar comes through most on the climax, where I can almost feel it rotting my teeth. It's a pretty sugary build all around - a substitute here for Dogfish Head's usual trademark sweetness. Where their IPAs are sweet, this is sugary. Some limited subtlety, but little complexity or impressive layering. Indeed, there's nothing unique or special here. Feels manufactured and par for the course. No alcohol comes through. I do get cinnamon.

Mf: Surprisingly dry, with emergent wetness only coming roughly at the midpoint. A bit too thick. Smooth. The mouthfeel distracts from the flavour. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Horribly overpriced for the disappointing quality. I expected no better from Dogfish Head. I wouldn't get this again. A bit rubbish. Drinkable but boring and bland. Rather simple. Hides its alcohol well.

Low C+ (2,086 characters)

Photo of Julz
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A beautiful golden color with a think head when poured.

Stale bread with a nutmeg smell which makes you think of fall and crisp cool air.

Bitter right off the bat, then strong "alcohol" flavor and then finished again with bitter.

Medium body which is nice in the mouth.

I was really looking forward to trying this beer, kinda disappointed. I like IPA's and bitter ales but this is just a little to strong for me. I think I prefer the Post Road Pumpkin Ale better.

Serving type: bottle (490 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin ales are a rare find here in California. This offering can't be found in Cali....yet. Bought when I was in Phoenix recently. Well, on to the beer:

It's a filtered copper orange...you can see the carbonation bubbles in the body. The head is soapy, sits about a 1/2 inch high before dropping into a thin sheet. Lots of nutmeg in the aroma. Mild pumpkin sweetness compliments the nutmeg and assorted spices. The taste, right of the bat, is very spiced. Not much of a malt base, which would help this beer. The first few sips are pleasant, but thereafter it takes a little work to get down. The beer leaves a numbling feel on parts of the palate, with a strong kick of spice as it goes down the throat.

This one packs a wallop of spice. The warming feeling feels nice, but the taste could be a little nicer. (813 characters)

Photo of WonderWoman
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge.
It poured a dark golden with a small rim of head that lingered for a short time.
The smell was of chewing gum that you get from the gumball machine for a nickel and some really awkward spices that didn’t mesh well together.
It tasted of light subtle spices with a tangy afterthought followed by hints of bubble gum.
The mouth feel was smooth and it coated my mouth. It also had energetic carbonation.
I don’t think I would order this one again. I didn’t care for it in the bottle and I don’t care for it on tap. (566 characters)

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,994 ratings.