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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,071 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: 2,071 | Ratings: 6,405
Photo of pedrito
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was happy to see this one at the store today. I'm a fan of the pumpkin variety, and this is probably one of my favorites.

Appearance: Golden copper body and minimal head.

Smell: Somewhere between a jar of pennies and brown sugar.

Taste: Rich and buttery initially with heavy brown sugar. After it settles a bit the nutmeg and pumpkin come out. There's a definite metalic aftertaste that makes your tongue tingle along the sides a bit.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard - bubbly on the tongue, smooth wash down.

Drinkability: With a month to go till Halloween, this one's got some definite mileage.

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Photo of NOOGIE
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Poured 12 oz bottle, half off purchase sale. Nice orange color, what I imagine from a pumpkin beer. Also ring of foam which sticks with the full beer.

Smell: The first thing that comes to my nose is the pumpkin smell, real pumpkin, not like baked pumpkin pie. Really a lot of smells are in this beer. Second of all, is the spices. I can really smell the cinnamon and nutmeg, mixed with the beer.

Taste: Everything really mixes well in the taste department and it actually has a brown ale taste.

Mouthfeel: Just like the taste the mouthfeel mixes all the various ingredients together and it stays wet in your mouth.

Drinkability: Good, this beer is definitely worth a try again. Surprisingly the drinkability is pretty easy, you really can't taste the high alcohol content so the beer hides the alcohol very well.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice transparent amber, a very small head at the top that leaves quickly, leaves a nice coat at the top, almost barely any lacing.

S-Up front cinnamon and brown sugar, very pretty smell, a slight hint of pumpkin on the tail end.

T-Strong hint of nutmeg and cinnamon upfront, almost same as nose, spicy, a subtle taste of pumpkin on the tail end, not to boozy either

M-Medium bodied, mid carbonation

O-One of my favorite pumpkin ales, Dogfish never lets me down, great brew, perfect for the fall, glad I got a 4 pack!

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Photo of Lucklys
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With me being the last person on earth to try this beer, there's nothing left for me to say that hasn't been said.

Poured into my snifter (I'm still really hesitant to pull out my Pilsner glass...is it time yet?), it holds a wonderful polished cherry wood color in the depths with orange accents swirling around the outside. There was a small head of off-white foam, about a finger thick, that quickly dissolved to a bubbly ring with islands in the middle. I was hardly disappointed as the little foam that lingered didn't vanish, but stuck around through the whole drink, keeping it together just right.

The aroma permeated the air around the glass almost immediately. The Punkin left a seductive trail of fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie, banana bread, and cinnamon toast that I continually wafted over myself in ecstasy. Closing my eyes, I imagined myself in a warm, inviting kitchen baking scrumptious desserts in preparation for a family Thanksgiving. Slinking among the amazing eruption of baked goods, I found some caramel malt, allspice, and a dash of spicy nutmeg.

To continue with the perfection of this favorite brown ale, the taste was the complete embodiment of the nose, only with the liquid sustenance. It was lightly spicy right off the bat, keeping my tongue tingling with happiness while cinnamon, pumpkin pie, and a generous amount of caramel washed over it. All of this was accompanied by nutmeg, brown sugar and allspice - all of which are extremely complimenting of each other; no one flavor tries to dominate the others. The mouthfeel was smooth with a medium body, like a heavy silk, and everything is supported by just the right amount of carbonation. It ends slightly dry with very little bitterness, and pulls everything together with a comforting warmth from the 7% ABV...which gives it an A+ in my book.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Review: 09/08/2008

Had a bottle of 2009 release. 7/21/09

Pours a dark amber with some copper highlights, off-white that settles rather quickly to a thin layer.

The aroma is absolutely delicious, brown sugar, pumpkin pie, and some spiciness, allspice and nutmeg really smell great. Nice caramel in back.

Great caramel/brown sugar sweetness up front with a pleasant dose of pumpkin pie spice. Some beers tend to over do it in the spice department but this one is perfect, just like a fresh slice of pumpkin pie, i think I can taste pie crust in there hehe. The beer finishes pretty crisp with a mild spicy bitterness.

I think that this years batch is superb and deserved another review. Delicious, could not put it down. Must get more.


Previous Review: 09/06/2006

12 oz. brown bottle dated 8/18/06 with a white paper label and a orange/brown foil cap. Pours a clear brownish copper with a fizzy white head that settles pretty quick, not much lacing. The aroma of this beer is really great, like home made pumpkin pie, lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Light bodied, moderate carbonation. A light malt sweetness up front, spicy dry middle, and a stinging alcohol finish. The alcohol content and flavor really overpower any real pumpkin flavor. This beer is a bit of a sipper and is quite warming. I wouldn't be able to drink a bunch of these but it does make for a good dessert beer.


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Photo of nriech
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap and bottle in September 05, both tasted the same so DFH has some consistincy on this batch. Bought the 4 pack at Total Wine and Beverage on Midlothian in Richmond, VA.

Poured with about 1/2 inch head, great aroma of the spices. Not overpowering with any of the spices on taste, just enough of each and pumpkin to make it a good seasonal brew.

Would be good with a big dinner served this time of year of Turkey and stuffing.... :-)

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Photo of femALEist
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin ales in general have never beckoned my name. Perhaps it was that keg that my sister got when I went to go visit her in college when I was still in high school. We got a keg of Pumpkin Ale, had a party, and was drinking pumpkin ale for the next 7 days straight. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Pumpkin ales are usually just too much to handle- too pumpkiny, too spicey, too undrinkable. But when I saw that Dogfish Head came out with one called, Punkin Ale, a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 7%, I decided to try this type of beer again.

The nose has a more sweet caramel nutty nose than pumpkin with a hint of spicy cinnamon. The color is a deep red sienna brown. The first sip revealed a spicy beer with a light pumpkin aftertaste- not too pumpkiny and not too overwhelmingly spicy. There is a lingering allspice taste on the tongue after you drink it a while with a hint of sweet syrupy maple. It is not a super sweet beer- it actually smells sweeter than it tastes. The flavors really seemed to open up and balance more after the beer cooled down a bit. It reminded me of a spicy unsweetened apple cider more than pumpkin beer.

This beer is calling for you to grab it for a picnic on a cool Sunday afternoon with a loved one- it wants to be enjoyed outside. Granted I wouldn't go out and buy a keg of it, but a few glasses had me lingering for the holidays to arrive. Perhaps it is my love of Fall that made this beer warm my senses or the fact that someone actually balanced a pumpkin beer for me to actually enjoy to drink.

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Photo of goblet
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got a four pack and poured one into a standard pint glass.

a slightly hazy deep orange tone almost the color of a pumkin.white frothy head that lasts the entire duration and leaves nice spider web like lace.

a fresh baking pumpkin pie aroma with cinnamon nutmeg spices and brown sugar are all noticeable and delightful also some carmel like malts and hops come through.

the spices call out load and clear and say their here ,the pumpkin flavor mash was add in just the right amount, just what you want in a pumpkin ale.

a medium body feel with the spices and pumpkin flavor litely lingers on the after taste.

one of the best pumpkin ales with good reasons very drinkable ,smooth on the mark pumpkin and spiced just right ..cheers enjoy i did ..

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Photo of Denali
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in New York City.

2002 Vintage.

Appearance: Clear orange with small white head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Very strong cinnamon and nutmeg (so strong that I felt it at the back of my throat!). Brown sugar was evident as well.

Taste: Like apple/pumpkin pie. Wonderful cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mixed with the pumpkin flavor and topped off with a coating of brown sugar that lasted into the aftertaste. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. I could drink this all night.

Comments: I was a bit hesitant to try this because I don't like pumpkin very much, but it was suggested that there are enough other flavors present that I might like it anyway. I did - very much. You just never know. The brown sugar was fantastic. Yum.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - deep amber color with nice lacing and white head 'atop.

S - pumpkin first and foremost, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg. Smells like the fall and winter... dark, cold nights with fireplace smoke in the air.

T - pumpkin is the first flavor on the palate, but it is quickly taken over by the allspice and nutmeg essences. Tingles a bit and goes down easily.

M - perhaps a little bit heavy on the allspice, which dulls the palate.

O - probably the best pumpkin beer I've had yet. It has more body than most, which is a plus for me.

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Photo of Jarod
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003

This beer poured a crystal clear orange/brown colored and while held to the light the carbonation bubbles danced all over the place. The head that sat on top of the beer was of the color of cream/beige. It was not real lasting, only from first pour was there any density to it. It fell fast to nothing but a rim on the edges of the glass. Surprisingly there was lace produced and it was in the form of sheets. The aromas were pleasant and fresh. It was pumpkin pie just from the oven and more. I nosed sweet malts, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper), grated nut, hops, just opened can of pumpkin pie mix, and some brown sugar. The tastes were just as fresh as a just baked pie. Flavors of citrus fruit, fruit (apple, pumpkin –obviously), spices (pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon), sweet malts, brown sugar, hops, pumpkin flowers, and wisps of alcohol in the end. It finished with light pumpkin. The aftertastes were of spicy hop/pepper. The body was medium. Overall taste and impression, is that it is well balanced, not too much pumpkin, but really balanced in all its flavors and aromas. I personally would like to have had a tad bit more pumpkin, but if that would not be possible then don’t change a thing.
Note: this beer gets better as it warms. The distinctions of the aromas and tastes become more prominent with each degree increase. I really liked this beer and would get again and again. Great representative of its style.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from 12oz bottle a clear reddish gold with a medium sized head of foam that shrink slowly leaving a fine broken layer with some lacing.

The smell is, wow. Who put a fresh slice of warm pumpkin pie to my nose when I wasn't looking?? I mean it for real. ;^)

The taste is big on the spices with huge notes of biscuit, sweet malt and an authentic Pumpkin flavour that puts a huge ass grin on my face. There's even some hoppiness in the background that adds some nice tartness but doesn't detract a smidgeon from the overall pumpkin flavour. Again I say, Wow! There's also a bit of fruitness there, I can sense some plum and raisin. What a tasty brew!! My gosh, I'm *so* glad I got to taste this one.

Bottom line: Fancy that, a Pumpkin Ale that actually tastes like pumpkin! This one *has* to be the standard bearer for the style, no question about it. I can't recommend this one enough!

My thanks go out to Wasatch for this beauty!

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Photo of cvfish
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a pumpkin orange color that produced a white foamy head that had decent retention and left little lace along the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer I could read off the label, but I really pick them all up, malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar

T - Well, the taste of this beer is subject, those who like the style will love the taste, all of the ingredients mix well together, the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg were a great combination

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - The drinkability of this beer, for me, is very high, this is a great Pumpkin Beer and I wish this was available in New Orleans

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the best fall seasonal out there, this beer simply kicks ass. Double the ABV of a usual pumpkin/fall seasonal and twice the taste. It's full of brown sugar taste and just the right amount of pumpkin taste. I wish this was available all year as it really is just a good well balanced beer. Not just my favorite pumpkin ale, but one of my favorite beers ever.

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Photo of krisandajt
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love Pumpkin. Fall is my favorite time of year simply because everything pumpkin comes out. This beer is certainly one of the things I will look forward to for years to come.

Appearance: Nice rich, deep copper color. Decent head that quickly faded.

Smell: You can definitely smell the pumpkin spice in the ale.

Taste: Pumpkin is very apparent, with a nice bit of sweetness to it that isn't too overpowering, but adds a nice touch. Finish is good, the taste of pumpkin lingers just long enough...

Mouthfeel: Smooth and pumpkinny!

Drinkability: Very very drinkable.

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Photo of ksimons
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark clear amber with a thin amount of head that quickly disappears

S-pumpkin pie in a beer. Lots of pumpkin, cinnamon, malts, and a hint of alcohol

T-very similar to the smell. Pumpkin, malts, and a spicy finish.

M-medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and very creamy with an alcohol warming

D-very drinkable, the perfect amount of pumpkin and spice, and unlike lots of pumpkin beers is not watered down at all

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a hazy amber with a decent off white head, which produces good lacing. Has a delightful aroma of pumpkin, brown sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg. Has an aroma of a ginger snap cookie. Just smelling this one gives me incredable amount of excitement. The carbination is soft. Has a light body. A soft duration, and weak finish. All the aromas come out beautifully in the flavor of this beer. Its a wonderful beer. Gives me visions of good halloween deserts. I'm slowly becoming a big fan of pumpkin ales.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: December 23, 2013... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint...OCCASION: it's me (Vernon Davis) and an 18-point lead against Steven Jackson and Tony Gonzalez for the fantasy championship... APPEARANCE: solid, warm amber body; steady effervescence; nice two-finger head; cloudy white and consistent, attractive lacing... AROMA: cinnamon, allspice and hazel nut front and center; a veritable pumpkin pie in a glass, at least by its smell... PALATE: medium-bodied but feisty--not the usual walk-in-the-ho-hum-fall-forest body of a brown; aftertaste is nuanced and bold...TASTE: robust cinnamon overpowers the pumpkin; secondary nutmeg and allspice develop; the cornucopia builds with hazelnut and sugary ginger... OVERALL: I needed a beer big enough to celebrate a win and strong enough to kick in my teeth if I lose--and lose I did with barely a minute to gp in the game. This beer delivers what football so often does, a comfortable yet visceral drinking experience.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to my 12 oz DFH palm glass. A beautiful crystal clear Pumpkin Amber typical of DFH, with red and orange highlights. The head is 2 finger and lovely.

The small is indicative on DFH. Fruity, hoppy, Pumpkin and nutmeg.

The taste is dry pumpkiny and a hint of spices'. It you have tried this style before and thought it too sweet, then Try this.

The mouth feel is quite nice, good carbonation medium body, easy to swig down.

The drink ability is very good, in fact this is a beer is unsurpassed as an example in this style is.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy amberish color with a creamy thick white heading that leaves no lacing.

Smell is very subtle. I really swirled this around a bit and came up with a little bit of pumpkin and spice.

Taste is wow simply awesome. Everything is there that is stated on the bottle. Nice heavy roasted malts to start it out. Followed by a pumpkin nutmeg combination that turns into a slight hot booziness. Finishes kind of strong with a spicy yeastiness that leaves your mouth watering and wanting more.

Mouth is full bodied with very good retention. Leaves a sticky sugary kiss on the lips that lingeries a while.

Drinkability is very high for me. For 7% ABV this is very easy going and a definite have for the season.

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Photo of challenja
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a a Dogfish pint glass at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Arlington, VA.

A:Pours a hazy dark amber orange with a nice white lacy foam head that disappears completely 1 minute in.

S: Nice Yeasty Pumpkin, brown sugar, clove, and nutmeg.

T: A nice subtle Pumpkin Ghourd, heavy Pumpkin Spice, Clove and Nutmeg with a brown sugar malty backbone.

M: Now here's the best part, a nice full carbonation creamy pumpkin ghourd mouthfeel with a clove nutmeg bite that lingers for a nice long time.

O: This is my third and best go at this beer. I enjoyed it before but after a really heavy Pumpkin Beer Autumn I could really appreciate this beer more. This sucker is now my number 5 all time best Pumpkin beers. (1. S.T Pumking, 2. Schlafly Pumpkin ale,3. Wyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, 4. Heavy Seas Imperial Pumpkin)

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll.

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Photo of shapudding
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tagged as packaged in 2004. Dark honey golden and unclear. Can barely see through the pint glass to the shadows of my fingers on the other side... No head at all, just a thin white ring at the edges. Wonderfully spicey scents with a ton of raisin coming out. Karo sweetness. Makes me think of eggnog, must be the nutmeg that just wafts out of it. Such a nice smooth mouthfeel, the carbination gives it a bit of bite, but it really is just a perfect feel . This is just the right amount of carbination for me, not too much, just enough for the style. Malty and spicey, almost tastes a bit peppery at times. Caramelly/honey sweeness, but not intensely so. The spices really come out alot in the end, you are left with alot of clovey-nutmeg flavor in your mouth. This has been a longtime favorite of mine since the first try, and I have always described this as being like having a bite of pumpkin pie and following it up with a sip of good ale.

This was a Christmas gift from my Father, who is appreciating all the beer I have been letting him explore with... -My Dad who thought that he was finally a beer snob when he found Molson, but now is obsessed with Double Bastard! My darling Father who must have remembered me saying that I love Dogfish Head, and knows I call people Pumpkin, and gave me this 4pack at Christmas Eve. -Which was the first of the experiments with my beer opener beltbuckle (ask my horrified and wet friends, and ex-friends), and my punkin coated step-brother Ian...! -Well, everything was punkin coated, but hey, what are holidays for!

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Clear than I was expecting and lighter too. A bright and clear copper and topped with a rather quickly disappearing bone white head.

S: Not overpowering pumpkin pie aroma which is nice. Nutmeg light cinnamon, star anise, pumpkin of course. But these are only hints of what is to come.

T/MF: Tastes remarkably like pumpkin pie but not overpoweringly so, not as thick a mouthfeel as pumpkin pie, I suppose that is because this is beer and not food, but I guess what I am trying to say is that this beer conveys the idea of pumpkin pie, minus perhaps the almost overpowering aroma of the pie, into a beer. The pumpkin, the sweetness, the spiciness is all there and melds perfectly together. It's really hard to imagine another beer being able to do the same thing to such a perfect degree. In terms of style the taste cannot be beat, at least as far as I can tell. Feel is not nearly as thick as I was expecting from a pumpkin beer that tastes and smells like pumpkin pie, but such a realization really does not detract all that much from the overall enjoyableness of this beer.

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish head punkin ale

Clear, light brown beer. Lingering 1/2 finger head.
I would like more head.

Stronger pumpkin pie aroma than most pumpkin ales I've tried. But not overpowering. Roasted malt aroma in background.

Spice and roasted malt dominate the flavor profile. Some bitterness on the tongue. I like the spice, but it could stand to be more subtle.

Medium bodied. Fizz coats the mouth. Too much carbonation for my taste.

Overall, this is a great beer. Exactly what I would expect in a pumpkin beer from Dogfish Head. I'm glad I bought it. I will probably get more before the season is over.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear with a brilliant copper orange hue. A somewhat fizzy finger-width head that fades into decent lacing.

Aroma: Just like a freshly baked pumpkin pie - spicy, lots of pumpkin (obviously), and big doses of sweet brown sugar. It smells exactly how you might imagine while reading over the ingredients. Quite appetizing.

Taste: Brown sugar sweetness and pumpkin up front with a nice spicy nutmeg and cinnamon finish. The beer underneath these flavors is somewhat bitter with sweet and bready malt. You can definitely detect that seven percent booze from time to time, but it's certainly not overpowering. Usually, I'm not a big pumpkin fan, but I really love it in this application. It doesn't really taste like a Brown Ale underneath, more like a malty Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and velvety with a good amount of carbonation. It finishes nicely with the slick feeling you get with higher ABV beers.

Drinkability: Despite the somewhat nontraditional flavor combination and moderately high alcohol content, I'd be more than happy to sit and throw back a four-pack of this over a Fall evening. One of the more sessionable Dogfish Head creations I've tried (for example, it would take quite long night for me to finish a pack of Raison D'Etre).

Verdict: While Pumpkin Ales are nothing new, I knew when I saw the neon orange pack adorned with the shark icon sitting on the shelf, I'd be in for something special. Punkin did not disappoint. Without a doubt, this is the best Pumpkin themed beer I've ever tasted. As I've come to expect from Dogfish, this beer is lavish, complex, and above all, unique. These are the kinds of beers that leave such an indelible impression on me that I can almost summon their taste just by thinking about them. Brilliant.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.