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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,069 Reviews
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Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,069 | Ratings: 6,393
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.

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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

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Photo of granger10
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of Premo88
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of MookDawg
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
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. :-/

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
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

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Photo of Marraybay
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Basically a somewhat toned-down / lighter version of DH's brown ale--which I am a fan of--but as something that's being presented as a limited release autumnal brew, I would unfortunately need to label this one a little underwhelming. Again, as a straight brown ale, it presented well both in color and taste, with a gentle upfront sweetness and a slight bitter finish. However, I'm not personally picking up on any of the spice / flavors that are inherently imparted in this style. For this reason, I'd grade it a C- as a fall speciality beer, but would probably upgrade to a B-, as a straight brown ale.

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Photo of bigbubba
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Another one from Ted.
This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a moderately hazy almost burnt orange color with a light transparency rising up to feed a quickly dissipating head. Fizzled and no lacing slid anywhere, hmm...wondering.
I wonder no longer...
The smell had some light pumpkin hitting what seemed like a cream ale sort of base. Pie-like crustiness leads in and subtly combines with some vanilla.
The taste was mainly sweet through the pumpkin, vanilla and pie-like crustiness of the cream ale features. A pumpkin flavored aftertaste runs in and leads in a sticky finish.
The mouthfeel sat about light bodied with an okay sessionability about it. Carbonation runs pretty nice as a pumpkin ale.
Overall, well, honestly, its okay, but nothing over the top either, its mainly a lighter version of pumking. Eh, nice to try but was kinda hoping for better.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of Likeburning
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of wonderbread23
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of dolemite77
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of spike882
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of viaingo
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
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!

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Photo of bfr1992t
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle served in a standard 16oz glass.
A - average, amber, light head.
S - earthy malt, almost sour.
T - strong brown ale at first, weak hints of pumpkin. First taste finished with pumpkin pie. Subsequent tastings were more of strong brown ale, somewhat sour/bitter and less, almost non-existant pumpkin. I really had to hunt for the pumpkin flavor at times but when it did appear it was like a bite of pumpkin pie.
M - Harsh from carbonation. Otherwise average.
D - Most likely pass on this brew due to the bitter finish. I'm not a fan of brown ales. I would not consider it a disappointment and would recommend to any brown ale drinking.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Orangish amber color with a small white bubble head that dissipated leaving the sides of the glass clean.

S - Pumpkin and nutmeg dominate, with a bit of cinnamon thrown in for good measure. There is a graininess to this and a bit of alcohol in there.

T - Get a decent amount of pumpkin pie taste on this one. Nutmeg and cinnamon and some nice pumpkin. A grainy, malty, lagerish taste on the end as it finishes sour and with a bit of alcohol. Not horrible.

M - Light bodied, moderate carbonation bite adds what seems to be a spicy kick.

D - Started out good, but got harder to drink as I went, got through the bottle with just a bit of difficulty at the end.

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Photo of JamesS
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color, but with very little head and no lacing. Nice scent, very pumpkinish, with pie spice, although it's almost too pieish and not enough aleish. Nice taste, same with the taste, with a lot of spice and bit of hops in the aftertaste. Not the smoothest pumpkin ale, but not bad. It's worth a try, but I prefer Blue Moon's, it's easier to find, cheaper, and just as good (in one of the rare cases of a macro being just as good, or better, than a craft).

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Photo of infi
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, courtesy of BA r0nyn.

Poured into a nonic pint.

Pours a translucent dark-orange to brown color that generates a sizable white head of fine bubbles. Tons of carbonation activity throughout the glass with little to no lacing after constant swirling. On the nose, it's very pumpkin heavy with some hints of malt. Can't really differentiate any of the indicated spices on the front label from the pumpkin-laden aromas.

Taste is total opposite from its smell - sweetness from the malt and caramelized sugar is actually more predominant than the pumpkin. But towards the middle, the subtle spiciness from the cinnamon and all-spice becomes present on the tongue and finally ends upon a slight hop bitterness and boozey heat. Good overall taste with a bunch of flavor components. This pumpkin ale has a medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. Drinkability is fair to good. Not one of my favorite beer styles but overall, it's pretty decent. Very fitting for this coming autumn season.

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Photo of abecall98
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - pours a bright orange, cloudy color. Tiny white head, not much lacing.

S - slight pumpkin pie aroma, getting some cinnamon notes.

T - very spiced. I taste cinnamon, brown sugar, and not enough pumpkin like I enjoy my other pumpkin ales.

M - not very good. A little less carbonated and thinner than I prefer.

D - the mouthfeel and taste don't help this beer out. And, and 7%, I taste some heat in the aftertaste. If they had more pumpkin flavor, it may have masked it.

O - there are better pumpkin ales out there.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,069 ratings.