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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,625 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,625
Reviews: 1,973
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 295
Gots: 740 | FT: 6
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: 5,625 | Reviews: 1,973 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle
$9.99 4-Pack
Cardinal Liquors, Joliet

Dogfish Head's Punkin' Ale pours copper with strems of carbonation rising to the surface. A one finger head formed on the pour and quickly receded to hardly a skimming. Appearance isn't bad but nothing impressive.

This beer has a big helping of spices, unfortuanately without much pumpkin. According to the bottle there's brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The allspice and nutmeg are by far the two most dominant aromas (as it warms further the brown sugar comes through). Even though it's missing the depth the spices present do smell good.

There's a nice flash of toasty, nutty malts upfront that gives way to the spicing. The spicing comes across with the nutmeg and allspice again before turning back to the base on the swallow. The base is pretty tasty and the spicing makes it unique. There profile does evolve as the beer warms.

Medium bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Surprisingly the mouthfeel seems to work well with the spicing. Sluggish carbonation lets this beer work through letting the spices do their thing.

Good beer but the drinkability is hurt (in my opinion) by the spicing. There aren't many spiced beers I could drink more than one or two in a sitting.

Solid beer from Dogfish Head. The longer this one sits out of the fridge the better it smells and tastes. I'd guess it's between 52-55 right now and it's tasting pretty good. Interesting pumpkin ale.

joe1510, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber color with a 1/2" tan to white head. Settles quick after the first sip.

Taste: Hints of pumpkin from the beginning to the end. Cinnamon maybe little nutmeg but not too heavy at all. Not bitter may come off sweet but you can taste the alcohol off this this little work of art.

Smell: Ahh....this beer's purest strong point. You're looking at pumpkin liquid here. You smell and you love.

Mouth: Nice medium carbonation, after finishing the glass 5 minutes ago still doesn't want to leave (I'm not complaining).

Overall: I for one am not a fan of "sweet" or fruit infused beers....DFH has caught my attention with Punkin Ale. This is one of the few pumpkin ales I have grown to love. Offset with a perfect settling of hops and pumpkin...doesn't come off too sweet last thing you need is your beer tasting like soda. Want pumpkin grab this beer!

BlurryVisi0n, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of BMMillsy
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

While generally not a fan of the style, Dogfish does a nice job with this. Keeps the usually overwhelming nutmeg in check and focuses on the pumpkin more. Beautiful orange pour with a big fluffy white head. Flavor is light pumpkin, some pale malt sweetness, and just a hint of the cinnamon and nutmeg that is usually overwhelming in these brews. Light bodied, and just the right carbonation. I could drink this again.

BMMillsy, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of Florida9
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light brown in color. Pours with a 1/4" of whitish head that has decent retention, but leaves little lacing.

S: Predominantly spice, specifically nutmeg and allspice, with molasses, brown sugar and vanilla.

T: Caramel malt backbone with nutmeg and spice. Some alcohol. Not much in the way of pumpkin. Spice is noticeable, but not overdone and this beer is much less sweet than many of the other pumpkin beers on the market.

M: Lighter than expected with appropriate carbonation. A bit of warmth shines through from the alcohol.

D: A good pumpkin beer. I prefer the dry, subdued spice style of Punkin to the overly sweet, overly spiced, trying to be a pumpkin pie beers.

Florida9, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of cash22
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Punkin Ale - 'A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg.'

Appearance - golden amber with a small head that dies quickly

Smell - sweet and spicy all together

Taste - subtle pumplin flavors followed by a spicy aftertaste once swallowed

Mouthfeel - Rough and strong, dominant, heavy

Drinkability - Easy to consume and looking forward to another

cash22, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of SilentSabre
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jwc215 for sending this in a trade. A nice pumpkin ale. Poured a very slightly cloudy orange colour with a white foamy head that faded away very quickly leaving a ring of frost around the edges of the glass. Smell is sweet malts with a muted but present portfolio of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a maple syrup smell hidden way in the back. Very nice. Taste is more of the same, finishing mildly sweet and leaving all these flavour profiles in your mouth many seconds after you've swallowed a sip. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I was expecting. Not offensive, simply heavier than I thought it would be. Another pleasant offering from DFH.

SilentSabre, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 08/24/09. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: A short, fizzy, off-white head forms on top of a clear, orange-amber body. Steady streams of carbonation can be seen throughout the body. Nice head retention. Decent lacing. Looks pumpkin-y.

Smell: The pumpkin and nutmeg really assert themselves; they're the strongest aromas. Brown sugar probably comes next, followed by the cinnamon and allspice. The overall smell is quite pumpkin-y, and it's not too spicy like most pumpkin ales I've come across.

Taste: Pumpkin flavor isn't nearly as prominent as I had hoped. It seems to have a hard time standing up next to the spices and grassy hops. The allspice has now come to the forefront, while the cinnamon makes itself known in the aftertaste. Nutmeg and brown sugar are still strong components too, but they're not as strong as the aforementioned spices. I thought this was over-spiced at first, but now that I'm midway through the beer it feels much smoother.

Mouthfeel: Spicy, crisp, medium-bodied, and balanced. Aftertaste is mild and decent tasting. Alcohol well masked; finish really isn't that dry.

Drinkability: I'm not a huge fan of this beer, but maybe it's because I'm just not a huge fan of pumpkin ales. This beer becomes smoother and tastier with each successive sip. I'd definitely buy this again if it were a little cheaper (I paid $11 for my 4pk); as it stands, I might.

ThreeWiseMen, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of Natural510
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, states it was "brewed in 2010"

Pours a lighter amber-orange color, nice swath of head and lacing which remains for the duration.

Scent is spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom. A bit sweet as well, but not able to pick up the pumpkin in the nose.

All the ingredients listed on the bottle are detected in varying levels of flavor: heavy on the cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg. Pumpkin is present but understated, as well as the brown sugar. Spices are at the forefront, and blend with a generous dose of hops to create a dry, snappy finish.

Medium body, which makes it more of a beer which can be drunken a few at a time, rather than a heavy-bodied sipper as with other pumpkin beers.
Clean, with a nice hop bite. Still, it's a bit overbalanced toward the spices rather than the sweet malt or actual pumpkin. A nice beer nonetheless, but seekers of big pumpkin flavor should look elsewhere.

Natural510, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of jman892
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Aggressive pour into a pint glass leads to a fluffy 2 finger head off white head. Beer is a nice copper color

S - Smell of actual pumpkins rather than spiced pumpkin pie. I dont pick up a lot of the spice others mention, but more of a malty breadiness, and a slight burnt toast finish

T - Spice is more pronounced here, mostly nutmeg is noticeable. Also I take note of some brown sugar sweetness. Very smooth and balanced.

M - Good medium body, somewhat creamy, easy drinker

O - Solid offering from DFH. Very easy drinker and a very good fall beer.

jman892, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of lstokes
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a very minimal off-white head and no lacing, I would have liked a more robust beer look. The smell is dominated by nutmeg, but the taste is nice enough, full of spices but also obviously made with real, fresh pumpkins, which impart a sweet, funky air to the proceedings. I wasn't too fond of the sour pumpkin/maple taste--I think I wanted something that tasted more like pumpkin pie--but my boyfriend said that was his favorite note. The light, zesty body is nice and made this easy to put down.

I don't particularly care for pumpkin ales, and can't imagine when I personally would reach for them outside of Thanksgiving, but I'm willing to believe that this is a good example of the style.

lstokes, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of dankbrew21
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a lot of head on the pour, smells of sweet spicy punkin.

Very good mouth feel, not too thin but not overpowering. Sweet and spicy, alcohol makes itself known for this 7%er. I do enjoy the slight burn. Flavors could be a little more present, kind of muted but still there.

Over all, a very good pumpkin ale, not my favorite, but up there!

dankbrew21, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of LeftyBWS
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass.
A: Glowing copper-orange in color. It pours with a solid, smooth layer of whitish head that recedes to leave a a thin film atop the beer. Medium amount of carbonation visible. Spotty and thin lacing.
S: This beer sports a rather crisp, practically lagery smell. Subtle hint of spice, and some more noticeable notes of grains and earthy malts. As the beer warms, a tiny sweetness emerges in the nose.
T: Clean taste up front that is a mix of grassy and woody tastes with a hint of malty sweetness. This maltiness gains strength in the middle, and gives way to a slightly spicy taste that is reminiscent of seasoned roasted vegetables, most notably pumpkin, of course. The finish has a taste of sugars and spice and is really quite nice.
M: Fairly smooth and clean throughout, but it's a bit watery, especially in the middle. The finish has a tiny drying feel, and an alcohol tingle shows up after the beer warms a bit.
D: Not too bad. There isn't an overwhelming pumpkin flavor/spiciness to this beer, so it's manageable. The dryish finish is the only thing that makes this tough to swallow.
Overall, not too shabby for a pumpkin ale. For the most part, this seems more like a pumpkin-tinged fall seasonal lager, but who am I to judge. If you're in the mood to try a pumpkin beer, this one's worth a look.

LeftyBWS, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottled in '05. Pours reddish/amber with a thin tan head that reduces to almost nothing. Smells of cinnamon, allspice, faint pumpkin, sweet malts, and some nutmeg, but it's not as strong as I'd like. It has a medium body that is a a bit tingly and a flavor similar to the aroma but with additions of roasted malts, green/citric hops, some bitterness and alcohol. Above average, but not the best.

mmmbeer, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy muddy copper. Looks nice.

S- Spiced 'punkin' pie. Not the best aroma, though, kind of smells like stew or something. Not really, but that's the closest thing I can think of. A musky smell.

T- Way better than the smell. Brown sugar and spices take charge. Sweetness is there, as is an earthy quality. Tastes f'in great.

M- Not as heavy as expected. Fair carbonation.

D- Moderate to fairly high, depending on how much you like pumpkin pie flavors. For me, I'll buy a 4-pack and have 1 at a time, although this beer is sessionable (at 7%!) if it's your thing.

Good DFH brew, great pumpkin brew. Worth trying, bring some to Thanksgiving dinner.

ShogoKawada, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of MattyK
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice lite copper. Off white head that fades quickly. Mild lacing, fades quick.

S- moderate brown sugar upfront followed by a lite cinnamon scent, finishing with a lingering Bready very mild pumpkint scent.

T- I get a lot of brown sugar/ cinnamon taste upfront with the nutmeg and mild pumking flavor towards the back end. Definitely the combination of slight breadiness and spices linger.

M- moderately carbonated, enhances the spice flavor. Leaves a somewhat dry sweet aftertaste.

O- overall i am a fan of this beer. Being in the industry I've tasted many horrible "pumking ales" just poorly pieced together. This one by dogfish has its qualities without a doubt. I even have it on tap in my living room! Although I did tap an imperial pumpking as well because I feel like I can only drink maybe three or four dogfish's punkin ale before I get sick of the spices used in this brew.

MattyK, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of RaulMondesi
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%

We got an aite one right here my peeps. Kinda like the Richard Simmons of Pumpkins, it's one that everyone knows about, but it's a bit too light. Nice and airy, light and clean, but Raul needs a lil more meat on this corn cob.

It has all those pumpkin notes (with a lil bit of astringency) but the Raul man needs a lil more boom boom in the zoom zoom.

RaulMondesi, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper amber orang when held to the light forms with a cream colored relatively thin head that leaves behind speckled lacing. Aroma: First thing evident is the spices nutmeg and cinnamon with some mild pumpkin tones. Taste: One of the better ones I have had this fall not as resdiually sweet or cloyingly syrupy lacking some of the pumpkin flavor that others have more of but the spices are dead on here along with a decent kick in the acohol department at 7%abv that's not too shabby. Mouthfeel: Some residual stickiness still has the syrupy extract like feel but this one's not nearly as bad as some of the other pumpkin ales out there, good carbonation enjoyable. Drinkability: A definite one at a time beer but to be enjoyed surely every fall.

WVbeergeek, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of mintjellie
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shows a deep, clear orange that seems appropriate for something made of pumpkin. A fair topping of bubbly white head quickly fizzles away to a thin layer, leaving no lace behind. Smells of pumpkin with allspice, cinnamon, and brown sugar over a biscuit & caramel base. It tastes like pumpkin pie filling with an alcoholic kick. All the spices in the nose are there on the palate as well, with a hint of nutmeg as it warms. Caramel base. Alcohol is slightly noticeable. Medium bodied and slightly fizzy. I think I'd like it a bit smoother. The spices make this fine beer a slow sipper, and I don't think I could have more than one.

mintjellie, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, clear amber with 1/2" of foamy head. Nice retention. Noticeable carbonation. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin are all present in the nose. All the spices are present in the taste; allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon. The pumpkin however are seems to be more faint than I remember in the past. It's there and noticeable but the spices definitely dominate. The brown sugar is also noticeable in the finish as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, though a little thin.

A nice seasonal from DFH, but this years (2011) just didn't bring the same intense flavors that I remember the last two years.

tdm168, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of tjsdomer2
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Plenty of good tan foam here. Thick amber with heavy carbonation.

Smell: Pumpkin spice, mainly cinnamon, nutmeg, even a bit of chocolate or coffe? Some bready yeasty malt as I recall as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good smooth beer overall. Good flavor combination of spices, hops, and yeasty bread.

Drinkability: Doesn't get me too excited, but I was not disappointed. Probably wouldn't be my first choice for a fall beer, largely due to being harder to find.

Overall: Another review done mostly out of memory. Not my favorite Dogfish Head brew, but then again, I like pretty much all their beers I've tried.

tjsdomer2, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of kellyej
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

This beer is a fall classic. On the pumpkin beer spectrum that ranges from pumpkin pie to gourd in flavor, Punkin is certainly more toward the gourd side. It is very subtle, especially compared to other popular pumpkin beers like Souther Tier. This allows the beer to be totally sessionable while still giving some of the spicy fall notes people look for in pumpkin beers. Punkin pours a beautiful golden amber color with a wispy, foamy head. It is also quite clear.

kellyej, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of TAMU99
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer.
From the respected Dogfish Head brewery, I would expect a well crafted beer.
This pours a clear tawny orange. Kinda what you'd think a pumpkin beer should look like. There's a thin, rapidly fading head from which arises the aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin pie.
The flavor echoes the aroma with a strong malt backgound and just a touch of balancing hops rounds it out. There are hints of spice, but not too sweet.
This a clean, soft beer that goes down easily. I'd rate it as highly drinkable and a nice addition to the holiday fare.

Overall, I liked this one. A good showing from this good brewery.

TAMU99, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Hendrick24
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

Hendrick24, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of theghost3
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear coppery brown with a 1-finger light yellow head. Minimal webbed lacing.

The smell is cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. The taste is nutmeg, allspice, sweet pumpkin, and caramel with just a hint of pepper and yeast. Mouthfeel is carbonated, yet smooth. Medium-bodied.

This is a very drinkable beer. Its flavor is a bit more subdued than a lot of pumpkin ales out there, but still decent. Goes well with a pumpkin dessert.

theghost3, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of tonytuffnuts
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good pour, coppery body with orange hues and a modest off-white head that wanes to a laceless ring (surprising for all the sugar within).
Smells wonderfully sweet, brown sugar, caramel malt with floral undertones. Pumpkin's naturally present at the front door, a nice yeast awaits at the back. The whole package reminds me of fresh-baked, warm pumkin pie (duh).
The scents are all available in the taste, but the pumpkin pie-iness is upstaged by a yeastiness and a spicy, warming, alcohol finish. It's hard to decide if that's a bad thing, since it afterall grounds the offering as a beer rather than a fermented-fruit-drink. The carbonation is unobtrusive. The liquid itself is somewhat buttery.
I always get excited by the delicious sound of a Pumpkin Ale, but my expectations are NEVER met. This comes as close as any to that flavorful imagined prototype.

tonytuffnuts, Sep 11, 2008
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,625 ratings.