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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,039 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,039
Hads: 6,213
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 22.45%
Wants: 344
Gots: 1,145 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,039 | Hads: 6,213
Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My friend bought some of this a year ago and hated it. It had been sitting in his refrigerater ever since. He was happy to let me take them and I'm glad I did!

appearance; cloudy pumpkin orange with a light tan head.

smell; Mostly pumpkin dominated. The usual spices were also present but complimented, not overpowered.

taste; almost perfect, upfront toasty pumpkin, then fizzles into pumpkin pie spices and creamy malts. No one spice takes control and they seem to work together and play the role that hops normally would on the flavor. Only the slightest sweetness, but it's there and works well with the spices.

mouthfeel; creamy and complex with a slick and smooth finish. Almost could be best descibed as a cottony chewyness, far above any other of this style I've tried.

drinkability; sits heavy in the stomach and the ABV is high but it taste so good that these factors are less of an issue.

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Photo of AChamberlain
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Use your imagination.

Served from a 12 oz bottle with no "packaged in" date listed.

A: Pumpkin orange and a thick fluffy head.
S: Pumpkin and spices
T: Cinnamon and pumpkin and spice flavors.
MF: Light to medium bodied. Smooth drinking.
D: This is a great pumpkin beer, very drinkable.

I am going to get a load of these to bring home for thanksgiving for sure.

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Photo of Circusboy1082
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Made me think of thanksgiving day just wish I had a plate of turkey. If pumpkin could be in a bottle this is it. I know this an unorthodox review but let's be honest beer is about so much more than these staunch reviews you see. If there is a beer you enjoy just pour your heart out ( pun intended).

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Photo of mentor
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Prostman for providing me the opportunity to try this one. Consumed Jan 2005 with a bottle date of 2005. Hard pour to get a half-finger light cream head over an orange nearly clear beer. Smells of pumpkin pie spices...what did you expect? Nutmeg, clove, a zing (from ginger perhaps), very mild cinnamon, but no malt character to speak of. Tastes sweet with gentle pumpkin pie spicing and an interesting carmelly fruity (not quite apricot, but something along those lines) that comes in late and hangs around. Very nice...too many pumpkin beers are all spice with nothing underneath to save them. This one is very sweet initially on the front of the tongue followed quickly by delightful clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spicing . Later I get a caramel and yeah, some actual pumpkin. My goodness I'm not sure I've ever tasted pumpkin in a pumpkin beer. Seems like the spicing is always so heavy there's nothing left of my tastebuds to pick out that flavor. Nice job, gentlemen. One downside to this beer is at the very end and partly into the aftertaste, I do get some wet cardboard flavor. The ending is very sweet leaving a wet taste that hangs around on the tongue and makes me happy I'm drinking it. A pumpkin beer. I'm happy I'm drinking it. Dogs and cats living together! Medium thick body with mild carbonation...both of which work to make a creamy character that makes this beer delightful.

The beer has now warmed and I'll dump the last bit in the glass (saved in case there was sediment). Yeah, I think there was sediment, but not alot. Smell is different now that the beer has warmed. The pumpkin character now prevails and, unfortunately, the wet cardboard has reached the smell. The clove is a bit stronger and the nutmeg a bit gentler, but it could be my taste buds acclimating. I'm also getting a faint nutty flavor that goes along with the caramel. This is a really good beer and I'm sad I have just one fine gulp left.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle enjoyed in DFH pint on 9-5-11:

A: Clear, rusty copper color under a frothy and well kept head.
S: A moderate nose of crisp malt with notes of nutmeg and light cinnamon
M: Malt-centric body with a malty chewy finish.
T: Not so much of the sweeter pumpkin character here that I recall from last year's batch. I detect a more earthy vegetable side of pumpkin. Mild brown sugar and deep roasted nuts fill the finish.


2010 bottle: Into a DFH pint glass on 3.23.11. this yields a clear and bright copper color under a well-sustained head. Also a great lacing throughout...The nose here is a deep and spicy one with notes of brown sugar, nutmeg and that overall lovely pumpkin aroma that fills the air when fresh pumpkin pie is baking...The aroma notes here are all very indicative of what I pick up in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is carbonated to just the right level where the flavors shine through beautifully together and the malt can work its smooth magic on the palate. I can't wait for next year's batch and hope to try this on tap and/or cask as well...

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Photo of rousee
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This thing blows away the 04 version. There was a recent thread about the best pumpkin beers and I know the longbeach one (darren not snoop) hates them as he has made quite clear. Both Darren and Snoop need to try this one. It is not overly pumpkin-ish or pie spices laden. Clearly the best of the 05 lot locally available here in the bottle. The CBC version is a little too flat and the Smutty is a tad to pumpkinny. The BBW one is real good too. I think this one is better in drinkability.

Tasting notes-- pumpkin color, taste and smell but there is clearly a good amount of those familiar dfh hops. They do a good job with their hops/ malt balance as I believe they use ringwood yeast which I am not a fan of. They do well as far as I am concerned, so no need to fix something thats not broken.

I do believe that DFH is/has expanded too quickly as I think they can be inconsistent. But when you get down to it or not, DFH is a prety good brewer. This pumpkin is very good-excellent for the style.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It has an exceptional orange-amber color, great clarity, and perfect fine white head.

Aroma is perhaps the only category that this beer lacks in. It is somewhat spicy and pumpkiny but nothing great.

The flavor is awesome, though. It's has spice in spades with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The sweetness from the brown sugar is evident but it's nicely balanced with spices and hops. The pumpkin is also clearly present. Overall, it gives the impression of a great pumpkin pie without beeing overly sweet. This could easily be re-labeled a winter warmer. I can't think of another beer that I'd rather have for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner (except, possibly Great Lakes Christmas Ale).

Mouthfeel is good, not overly carbonated and not too heavily spiced or hopped to have more than one. Drinkability is good too then.

A beautiful beer that's also great to drink - this may be my favorite Dogfish beer to date.

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Photo of JDew
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber-orange with two finger medium head. Lace all over the glass. Dissipates slowly

S - Pumpkin... autumn spices are easy to pick up, the allspice and cinnamon are strong

T - I find alot of pumpkin ales that I like but don't care when they aren't available, but this is one I wait for and miss when its gone. There is a great pumpkin taste, with not too much sweetness, its just right in the semi-bitter and long aftertaste. None of the spices overpower the taste and its a very complex finish.

M - A good bodied ale that feels clean going down but sticks to your tastebuds, which is a good thing here. Its a long tasty finish.

D - I could easily drink more than a few, but never have enough in the fridge. Wish I could get ahold of a case instead of 4 at a time.

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4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a clear, but rich amber body. The off white head hold good retention, which is left for most of the glass. Lacing is minimal.
S: The aroma is a chest of spices. Noting a nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon. This a a classic aroma for the style, holding on to the fact that this is still beer, not a real pumpkin pie.
T/M: A warm and inviting taste of spices and pumpkin. The smoothness of the mouthfeel is very pleasant with the flavors that ring in winter. The mouthfeel is creamy and displays the flavors nicely. The finish you really get the pumpkin in this brew, it come forward like carving a real pumpkin.
D: An all around great brew and a true benchmark for the style.

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Photo of wikk3d
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a golden amber color with a thick foam head that settles to about half a finger. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Aroma - Sweet smell, pumpkin spice, citrus, hints of cinnamon. You can tell it's going to be a very sweet beer. Has a linger of a malt scent.

Taste - It's a very sweet ale right off the bat. Cinnamon lingers as it goes down. The pumpkin is very prevalent in this beer. Extremely smooth. It's not like many other pumpkin ales where there's only a hint of spice, it's very powerful. The sweetness adds to it. Not bitter at all.

Mouth - My only complaint is that it can be a little dry as you get into a full glass. Although the aftertaste it leaves makes up for it. Very sweet, similar to that of a pumpkin pie.

Drinkability - I was very impressed by Dogfishhead's attempt at a pumpkin ale. I may sound repetitive but it's very very smooth. It's a lot sweeter than others that I have tried, they really aren't afraid to use their spices. Definitely a must.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass:

A - Brownish Orange with a thin head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing on the glass.

S - Strong scents of pumpkin, and all the spices listed on the bottle. Malt scents are evident as well.

T - This is maybe the best commercial pumpkin ale out there in my opinion. Well balanced, tastes like what a pumpkin ale should be. Malts and brown sugar make it on the sweet side but you can just taste the hops to balance it out.

M - Nice medium bodied ale. Mildly carbonated makes this very smooth.

D - I could drink these all day. Very drinkable and go down easy. Watch out though as the 7% alcohol will sneak up on you.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - orange copper.
smell - cinnamon, allspice. According to DFH, there's 'organic brown sugar'.
taste - ummm...there's the brown sugar. Spices are less evident than in the and well balanced. The 7% is nowhere to be found.
mouthfeel - Nice and creamy.
drinkability - Too easy to down this 7%'er.
Another fine DFH.

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Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice orange color with a medium sized and thick white colored head that laces the glass a bit on the way down.
S: Smells of very sweet malts, some pumpkin flavoring, and hints of nutmeg in the nose.
T: Very well balanced flavors of the malts, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even a hint of vanilla.
M: Light, crisp, refreshing, with the right amount of carbination.
D: Very drinkable pumpkin beer as it has a really nice finish and it is well balanced all around.

Found it at Amity Wine in New Haven, CT.

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Photo of MagyarPuska
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden with hints of amber and minimum head retention. Not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Imagine this but it smells like pumpkins. Nutmeg and cinnamon are evident with the latter of the two being more noticeable.

Taste: Wow. Warmth on the roof of the mouth as it goes down, with all-spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin dancing around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Very gentle, and I find it slightly warming.

Drinkability: I would love to have this as a nice relaxing beer rather than drinking them en-masse. Two would be the limit for me as I think they would lose their effect after more than that.

Overall Impressions: During the late fall and through winter I normally settle down with a nice warm apple cider (non-alcoholic) from the local orchards, but this might have jumped from a chance substitute to a permanent spot in the starting line-up. Tied with Brooklyn's Dark Chocolate Stout for my #1 favorite seasonal.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic beer by hands down one of the best if not the best breweries in America. Pours a beautiful autumn orange color. I drank it from a big wine glass and loved it how the creamy lace looked as I swirled it around. Great sweet taste; malts, brown sugar, and of course pumpkin. A smooth finish. Amazing feel. So refreshing. The only thing that prevented me from rating it higher was a slightly metallic scent in the aroma. Do not know if it came from the bottle or the glass. I would like to reevaluate this considering everyone else here is talking about the strong aromas that were aligned with taste. Nevertheless, Dogfish Head never disappoints and they continue to be at the forefront of creative brewing.

P.S. I had it today again and did not notice the metallic aroma. Maybe it was the glass or maybe I was previously detecting detergent from the wash. Nevertheless, this time I detected a nice cinnamon and pumpkin aroma. I raised the score on the aroma.

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Photo of oelergud
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful orange body, off-white head small to medium bubbled, head has decent retention but no to little lace, little carbonation.
Very complex scent, sweet spice, pumpkin and something else I cant determine but from the label I gather it's brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste is much like the smell but better and stronger, sweet spice, brown sugar very apparent, pumpkin and sweet bread. Good malt/hop balance, aftertaste is a lingering malt drifting over to the realm of hops.
Very good mouthfeel, body has just the right fullness, decent coating.
A very drinkable and interesting beer and now my favorite fall brew.


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Photo of capn
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another entry in the Fall seasonal category is Dogfish Head's - Punkin Ale. This beer was first introduced at the Punkin Chunkin contest in 1994 as a homebrew by Dogfish's owner before he even founded the brewery. Since then, it has been released each year around September as a seasonal and, according to Dogfish, is usually gone by Thanksgiving. It is a brown ale brewed with real pumpkin meat, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. They didn't list any information about the malts or hops, but did say it is 7% ABV and 28 IBU.

Punkin Ale pours clear with a nice amber color, creamy off-white head, and leaves good lace behind. It has a crisp, malty nose which was very pleasant with no overpowering pumpkin aroma. The first sip revealed a crisp mouth-feel all around which became creamier as the beer warmed. The flavor is full-bodied with some complexity and presents hints of spice around mid-tongue with a pumpkin and cinnamon follow through. The balance of this beer is excellent and the pumpkin flavor is subtle throughout.

I must say I have been pleased with this season's pumpkin ales in general, although I have tried some that weren't that good. Of all the ones I have tried though, Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale is right up near the top. Don't let the 7% ABV or the fact it is a pumpkin fool you, this beer is extremely drinkable and I absolutely recommend it.

I wish you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Cap'n

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Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an '03 bottle but tastes fine..actually better than fine...too many of these Pumpkin beers are thin and soapy tasting with artificial pumpkin flavors...this is thick, full bodied...with great natural flavors...drinking this makes me long for my favorite season of fall..the flavors are subtle but there is a multitude of them...brown sugar sweetness is the first thing I notice on the taste...followed by a soft nutmeg flavor and it closes with a strong blast of licorice...the nose is big on the cinnamon....this is a quality beer....7% no less....I wish I could access a 12er of this every fall for enjoying from time to time...perhaps my favorite pumpkin beer...this brewery contines to impress me...wish I had easier access...I don't have a set top 10 list of brewers but these guys would have to make it based on the variety and quality of their brews...

Scores are per style...based on the fact no-one has been close to them on this style..

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Photo of Boto
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ CTRiver Brewers Festival: This may be the best "Pumpkin" beer that I have had yet. This one pours an orangish-amber color, with almost no head. There is a wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie spices. Also some maltiness in there too. The taste is a nice blend of the pumpkin spices with a good malty beer. Some hops also. This was really excellent.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours burnt orange in color, with a near amber tint. Frothy large white head encompasses the outer edges of the glass. The carbonation is wicked in my Duvel tulip. Lacing is incredibly sticky as well. Some of the stickiest in a long time. The smell is very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. A large amount of pumpkin, a good bit of cinnamon, and a generous portion of nutmeg. The all-spice and brown sugar are definitely there as well, but more subdued.

This beer has a very strong caramel malt backbone. Slightly earthy, with a hint of roastiness. The malt infuses together with the pumpkin and spices perfectly. What I enjoy about this beer, is that Dogfish Head did not go overboard on the spices. It's balanced to perfection, and is the epitomy of fall beers. Mouthfeel is right on for the style. Semi-creamy, semi-dry, and full-bodied. Drinkability is wonderful for those cool fall nights.

Punkin' Ale definitely nails the head on the style. This is a must have fall beer, and one I highly recommend.

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Photo of suspect
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. 2011 batch.

A: Crystal clear copper color. Aggressive pour leads to an off-white head that spills over the top of the glass. A 3-finger head remains and sticks itself at the top of the glass for what seems like an eternity. When it finally fades, it leaves tons of sticky thick lacing.

S: Huge aroma of nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of piney hops. Slight alcohol presence in the nose but this beer is really well balanced and is the best smelling "fall beer" I've ever had.

T: Sweet caramel malts hit first followed quickly by the pumpkin notes similarly found in pumpkin pies with brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and a faint bready taste at the end that I swear I want to try to crunch on like crust. This is such a wonderfully complex, yet balanced beer.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfect carbonation. Alcohol not evident in the mouthfeel.

O: Man...every year I'm really glad to see this beer again. This is such an exceptional beer. It makes me think of crisp, cool nights, families gathering around a feast and altogether good times. I should really buy a case of this stuff.

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Photo of simmons
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Soid orange in color with medium head slowly didapates into a thin lace. Very bright. Aroma has a solid but not overpowering pumpkin nose followed by spice and a touch of hops. Not too much malt aroma. Very pleasant. Flavor consists of a grainy malt right up front followed by pumpkin and a touch of spices to balace this beer out. Nothing is overpowering. Carbonation is on the lighter side. Overall this is one tasty beer. Well rounded, balanced and tasty. I love pumpkin beers, Id say this is in the top 5

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Photo of KAVSE
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a little trouble finding this one on the West Coast. Finally got my hands on a couple four-packs and was very impressed by this beer. Poured into glass.
Appearance: Nice "pumpkin" orange coloring. Not too much carbonation. The head dissipated fairly quickly with no lacing left on the glass.
Smell: Your nose has to search for the multitude of flavors. Hints of cinnamon, clove, pumpkin pie, slight alcohol all mix very well. Smells like Fall!
Taste: Each one I drink I taste something that wasn't there before. Initial taste of alcohol and the signature hops are very light giving way to letting your tastebuds search for the flavors. The flavors of pumpkin, clove, and cinnamon mix so well you almost believe you're mistaken. Very subtle and not an overtly "pumpkin" beer like many others.
Mouthfeel: Crisp yet thick. Not very carbonated but very smooth and subtle around the middle to back of the tongue.
Drinkability: You simply can't have just one. Perfect for Fall or any season where good friends and family are around.

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Photo of heebes
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich semiclear orange amber. Minimal head and a good amount of carbonation.

Smells of pumpkin (!), cinnamon, spices and brown sugar. This beer is loaded with deep aromas appearing as soon as the cap is popped.

The taste runs smooth of a deep representation of the nose. Flavorful rich pumpkin. Theres a great spice aftertaste lingering. Medium mouthfeel present. Thick on the palette but a smooth drinker.

Overall this is the best yet representation of the pumpkin ale. The Dogfish Head crew delivers. Very high drinkability, glad I bought 2 packs. Theres the definite ale taste to it. Not overpowering as some as far as pumpkin pie type spices. Drinks like a true fresh pumpkin beer.

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Photo of Xadoor
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber colour in the glass. Big foamy head that settled down quickly. Some lacing in the glass. Nice aroma with nutmeg, cinamon, pumkin and brown sugar noticeable. Flavour is sweet but spicy. Soft malt and pumpkin with a bitter pepper and spicy finish. The pumpkin flavour is subtle and doesn't overpower. Probably the best pumpkin ale I've tried. Makes me think of thanksgiving and cool autumn evenings.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,039 ratings.