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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,805
Reviews: 1,916
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 234
Gots: 373 | 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:
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 added by: NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,805 | Reviews: 1,916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stubbie1


2.78/5  rDev -29.6%

A beer that pours a deep copper color. A slight copper-ish/tan head on top. Fades to a thin lace then spotty patches. So far so good but after the appearance, this beer falls apart. Aroma is of spice, nutmeg cinnamon a bit of malt but very little pumpkin. I found it (the pimpkin) hard to find. Taste matches the aroma. Where is the pumpkin? I was hoping for a gritty earthy tone of the pumpkin to complement the spices but was let down. Medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is great if you’re into spiced beers but as for a pumpkin beer goes…there are better

09-11-2005 15:33:50 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of DrJ


2.78/5  rDev -29.6%

Not having had a chance in the past to taste pumpkin-inspired ales, and given the strong (positive) reviews associated with this product, decided to try.

Color is attractive with good head retention, notes of cinnamon and squash on the nose, palate is very odd to me, with notes of spice and gourd, strangely vegetal hops flavor with unpleasantly sweet malt notes reminiscent of artificial maple-flavored syrup, long aftertaste is also unpleasant, with strange vegetal notes.

Would not recommend, which is disappointing given the excellent products made by Dogfish (I enjoy and recommend both their 60- and 90-minute IPAs).

At issue is whether or not my (unpleasant) experience is style-centric or product-centric; nevertheless, based upon this experience, I will not be tasting any pumpkin-styled seasonal beers for a long time. Perhaps I can exchange the unopened bottles for some strong IPAs or hop-centric Pilsners...

11-01-2013 14:35:12 | More by DrJ
Photo of mlazzaro


2.78/5  rDev -29.6%

bottled in 2010. fresh pumpkin beer.

I was kind of surprised to see the ratings on this beer. I remember liking it a lot more. Being 7% ABV, it would certainly age well. But this time I found it to be boozy and somewhat spice dominant rather than actual pumpkin flavors.

a- More of an amber ale than a brown as the bottle states. Some head retention issues, maybe due to the alcohol content. I will say it is remarkably clear.

s- Smells like a spiced up barley wine.

t+m+d- It tastes rather young. Boozy and sweet. I kind of find the spice dosage to be overpowering. There is notable pumpkin flavor, but it is masked by so many other stronger flavors. and although I love my high ABV beers, it just doesn't seem to fit into this beer. The harsh booziness is distracting from the pumpkin, which is the reason I bought this particular beer. Kind of a mess. Maybe its too fresh/young.

I am usually not so critical. I love Dogfish Head and don't mean to rip on them. Just being honest with this beer.

09-20-2010 17:11:42 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of rohrbachsfan

New York

2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

Appearance: Clear amber orange, little head, no lacing on glass.

Smell: Smells like sweet alcohol with a hint of spice.

Taste: Weak pumpkin flavor, nutmeg is the spice that stands out, and it's just a little too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thin.

Drinkability: Wouldn't buy this one again.

09-29-2008 01:09:23 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of cbutova


2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

A- Murky orange-brown with a large off-white, frothy head. Good retention and a ton of fine lace.

S- Smells like typical pumpkin ale spice and a bit sour actually, lacto-esque for sure. "Bottled in 2010 5E" Mostly nutmeg with a little bit of pumpkin behind it.

T- One thing that jumps out at me right away is the alcohol, not hidden at all for 7%. The nutmeg stacks with the alcohol to make a slightly offensive flavor. The cinnamon is also highly present, too spicy. I get some nice pumpkin notes but they seem random, having to get past the spiceahol. The more I drink, the more I get that "wet dog" vibe.

MF- Light creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty warm from alcohol. Huge coat of spice coats the palate.

DB- Between the alcohol and the spices, I would prefer to split even the 12oz. A good pumpkin flavor masked by way too much spice flavor and alcohol. I probably should have been ready for this. I guess unbalanced is most appropriate here.

09-13-2010 02:43:32 | More by cbutova
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color, with a white head. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. In the taste, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and a brown sugar sweetness. A spicy mouthfeel, with a dry brown sugar aftertaste. Nice spices, yet a bit sweet. Not much of pumpkin presence, yet still nice.

09-15-2007 10:42:06 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of cvm4


2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

This is from a 12oz. bottle from the 2011 release.

A - Upon pour, you get a nice amber color with just a hint of haze to it. The head was at least a good 2 fingers (might have poured too quickly) with minimal lacing. It quickly dissipates into a ring of foam around the glass.

S - With all the spices listed on the label, it's hard to discern individual smells.

T - Overloaded with spices and very little pumpkin taste, which disappointed me. The cinnamon is somewhat muted along with the pumpkin but I did get tons of allspice. I was hoping to taste more pumpkin.

M - Great medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

O - I was really let down. Too many spices going on in this beer and not enough pumpkin taste.

09-25-2011 22:04:18 | More by cvm4
Photo of bcsbeer


2.8/5  rDev -29.1%

A: Hazy amber with a off white Dogfish Head. Reduced down to a ring with spotty lacing.

S: Not a lot for the nose.

T: Medicinal with a big alcohol presents. Clove and cinnamon with some pumpkin in the back round.
M: Was a little syrupy with low carbonation.

O: This was the last one of the 4 pk I bought in the fall. I have been avoiding it in the back of my refrigerator for several months, nothing changed. Not a good year for DFH. I have have had it in the past and liked it, and will give it another try this year.

01-28-2013 04:48:19 | More by bcsbeer
Photo of BeerCheese


2.83/5  rDev -28.4%

Crystal clear and light brown. Big white head with big pillowy bubbles in it. No head retention to speak of though. Smell of ginger and a bit of pumpkin. Taste of pumpkin pie and beer blended together. No carbonation to speak of, and medium body. Not something I would ever buy again, but worth trying once.

12-29-2007 06:37:16 | More by BeerCheese
Photo of dmb13nd


2.83/5  rDev -28.4%

Tried this on tap, unfortunately, after trying a different pumpkin ale that performed much better. The pumpkin taste was too subtle, allowing the spices to slightly overpower it. Hoppy aftertaste, which I normally don't mind had a small twinge to it that I can't quite put my finger on right now.

09-05-2012 20:04:58 | More by dmb13nd
Photo of vtfan77


2.83/5  rDev -28.4%

A- Clear golden orange with a decent but short-lived white head

S- Very spicy, but tough to pick out any individual spices. Some malt and maybe a little pumpkin, but not much.

T- Once again, lots of spices. Allspice and nutmeg are prevalent. Some caramel and toffee malt flavors as well. Pumpkin isn't especially noticeable, only coming into play on the finish. Alcohol is surprisingly noticeable. I know this is 7% abv, but it tastes stronger. Finish is dry and surprisingly bitter. Pretty harsh.

M- Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and pretty nice.

D- Not so good. Flavor and alcohol presence are pretty strong. I wouldn't want more than one, if that.

My first pumpkin ale, and kind of a letdown. The flavor is just not what I was expecting at all. The spices and alcohol were too much, and I didn't really enjoy it. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't get it again. Not recommended.

10-03-2006 01:24:00 | More by vtfan77
Photo of Vancer


2.88/5  rDev -27.1%

Clear amber brown, with a decent, but wimpy, ivory head that pops off some weak lace rings.

Rest is all disappointing, aroma is of weak pumpkin and clove. Taste trys to make it, but lacks any real commitment to the Punk. This is just a brown with some spices thrown in. And an average pumpkin, but for the freaking high dollar cost ($13 a four pack) – the drinkability really lacks. Local beers at a lot better cost whip this ones’ ass.

10-22-2007 16:06:10 | More by Vancer
Photo of laintringulis


2.9/5  rDev -26.6%

served in a pubglass

Pours a bronze-orange color with small loose foamy white head. Large amount of tight carbonation.

Smells like a good herbal tea. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. Vague sweetness, vanilla, maple, light oakiness. No real pumpkin smell.

Very mild/vague pumpkin taste. If I didn't know there was pumpkin in it, I don't think I would have tasted it. Malty sweet, nice spicy blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, giner. Tastes like you brewed an herbal tea bag in a beer.

Mouthfeel too syrupy at first, finishes with a spicy and hot alcohol finish. Starchy in the middle.

Light plus bodied, nicely carbonated. I would have rated the drinkability higher if I liked the taste more.

09-18-2006 05:35:35 | More by laintringulis
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

2.93/5  rDev -25.8%

Pours a dark amber color with a decent head with good retenton. Smells of light pumpkin pie, all spice, nutmeg, but not too overpowering at all. Some hop spice in the aroma as well. Tastes of maltiness, all spice, nutmeg, and once again not too overpowering on the spiciness and pumpkin flavors. It's all really kind of "meh" to me, to be honest. I don't get what the big deal is with this beer, and never have. Mouthfeel has lots of carbonation, medium bodied, and crisp finish. One is enough for me on this one.

09-03-2008 17:51:02 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of AndoBrew


2.93/5  rDev -25.8%

*i did not like and will not buy*

app: orange with gold hints, neat lookin .. like halloween. lil cream head.

smell: pine smelling hops. nutmeg.. smells more like a good candle flavor .. if it smelled stronger.

taste: lotsa odd hops, little bit of nutmeg in the finish.. not much punkin.. it is a rude beer, so I can see how the name came about, it seems un balanced, almost like a medicine for a second or two. not for me. to un blended and balanced, to harsh, not enough warming malts to give it a good backbone.

mf: fine

drinkable?: kinda, its not really good though.

keep on trying DFH I love the intresting efforts, and when you get them right, its such a treat

11-13-2006 03:40:14 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of sfprint


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

A: A hair dark rose (wine) soda. Uniform rising carbonation like an aquarium pump. Quickly disappating head.
S: Kind of musty, but peachy too. Artificial peach, rose water, dandylion. Very weird. Like a strange yellow squash soup. Not exactly appealing.
T: My first pumpkin beer, and it is unlike anything i've ever had. Certainly strange, but not as weird as the smell. I'm not really getting any of those ingredients listed on the bottle. Strange pepper, rootbeer, odd bitterness. Planty. It tastes sort of like a plant you're not supposed to eat or a plant that you're questioning whether it's edible or not. Odd.
M: Tart, slighty astringent. very light carbonation.
O: Interesting, and I'm drinking all of it but I doubt I'll have it again.

11-25-2011 04:40:45 | More by sfprint
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

The beer looks appropriately amber with a thin head that dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like a thin honey amber.
Smells of brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. Dont get any of the other likely spices. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkin pie, which I do not enjoy as much.
The prevalent brown sugar makes it seem more India Brown like its cousin than Red or Amber like it is supposed to. This beer is just too over the top sweet, "standard Pumpkin" and a bit boozy for me to be impressed. (And I can say this because 2 of my favorite pumpkin beers, Weyerbacher Imp Pumpkin and Southern Tier Pumking are also high in ABV while not tasting like a thick sloopy mess). It's just not quite as pumpkiny as it should be, cinnamon and clove alone do not make it a pumpkin beer.
Overall this is more like cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie); this is far from the go-to for the style for me, and this is a style I have had a lot of.

07-28-2010 20:05:37 | More by claspada
Photo of wangbruins


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

A- Semi-dark orange that was translucent with a two inch head that settled to one very quickly

S- Pumpkin (what else?)...well, actually, not much else

T- Pumpkin and a hint of ginger, not much though, so that made it pretty disappointing

M- Very light and bubbly, almost like pop, with no aftertaste

D- It's like drinking water so it's really pretty easy to drink

09-16-2009 23:52:42 | More by wangbruins
Photo of dedalus


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

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.



10-25-2003 00:23:59 | More by dedalus
Photo of harrymel


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

Vint: 2011

A: pours an orange ale with no head production and a thin, broken sheet of white foam culminates around the edges forming a rim. No lace. Excellent clarity.

S: It's actually tough for me to smell much here. Some faint hints of clove and nutmeg, and some sweet malts.

T: Sweet, nutmeg, and I can't help but taste a hint of lemongrass on the finish.

M: Medium on light bodied with high carb and semi dry finish.

O: A little more subtle than some of the other pumpkin's I've had, but again, nothing special.

10-10-2011 10:20:32 | More by harrymel
Photo of Julz


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

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

09-19-2010 02:08:42 | More by Julz
Photo of jujubeast6000


2.95/5  rDev -25.3%

Reviewed 9/19/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a clear brown-light brownish colored body, with a huge head, white, and lasting. Has a malty spicy aroma, some cinnamon, and nutmeg, weakish though. Has a nice taste of pumpkin, light malty taste. Somewhat bitter aftertaste.

01-23-2009 03:53:38 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Trilogy31


2.98/5  rDev -24.6%

Pours a classic brown ale amber with a thin collar of eggshell white foam leaving light lacing. The nose has allspice and cinnamon upfront, faint hints of banana custard and clove - the pumpkin is almost barely there to me and not sure i could pick it out had i not known thats what the beer is. The mouth is full of baking spices along with yeasty esters, the pumpkin is a bit more noticeable but so is the alcohol leaving a drying, astrigent feeling in my mouth. Far from an upfront pumpkin beer almost more of spiced belgian ale to me, really not a huge fan. 2011 release.

09-09-2011 06:04:31 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of marvin213

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -24.1%

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.

09-27-2009 00:04:10 | More by marvin213
Photo of wattoclone


3/5  rDev -24.1%

09-12-2012 13:47:20 | More by wattoclone
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 4,805 ratings.