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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,602 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,602
Reviews: 1,972
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 295
Gots: 730 | 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: 5,602 | Reviews: 1,972 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Dillmen110
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

Dillmen110, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, packaged in 04. Pours a slight hazy amber liquid with a thick foamy off-white head. A few small bubbles coming off the bottom of the glass. Good head retention, there was a fair amount of lace on the glass. Smells of pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Sweet toasty malt combined with the spices make for an interesting brew. Only slight bitterness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good mouthfeel, not overly carbonated like other pumpkin brews. This is the best of the pumpkin beers that I have tasted. Nice mix of spices with a slightly darker, more flavorful malt character than most. Decent drinkability, but really isn't a session beer. Another hit from DFH.

Bierguy5, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of VashonGuy
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

VashonGuy, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of BColton1
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

BColton1, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of rawhydes1
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by stating clearly...
I want to like Pumpkin beers more than I do. I love the smell, but find them generally to be too malty and masked by pumpkin pie SPICES, which I do not like.

Punkin presents as a nice brown/bronze beer.

Smells of pumpkin pie, not pumpkin puree or allspice. No vegetal tate heare. This is good so far.

Biscuity and sweet upfront. What I really like is the finish. Leaves a nice nutmeg/pumpkin pie aftertaste. Very nice. I used to feel this way about Harpoon Winter Warmer, but not nearly so anymore.

Pluses: punkin' obvious in the finish. A very good burping beer.

rawhydes1, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of damndirtyape
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated with a "bottled on 7/29/09" stamp. Poured into a tumbler glass. Orange-amber color with carbonation bubbles coming up nicely through the liquid. 1/2" foam upon initial pouring, but it died down to a thin foam across the surface. Nice lacing that refracts the light when you hold it up to the light.

I got almost no smell from the beer...what was there was very faint. Maybe, just maybe it was pumpkin but I think I was trying to come up with what that smell was and maybe I forced myself into thinking that was it. As it warmed up that smell got a bit stronger and it reminded me of faint tastes of the beer. Again, nothing strong here but nothing that put me off the drink either.

Taste though the beer comes through. I got some bitter up front and then a nice spice finish. I can't say that I got "pumpkin pie in a glass" like some have posted and in a way it reminded me of a winter warmer. The flavors contrast nicely with one another and make it a very interesting drink.

Mouthfeel - lots of carbonation on the tongue that lasts for a bit, otherwise nice and slick going down.

Drinkability - despite not really smelling anything the beer is interesting enough that even though I just bought a single, I may go back to the store and pick up a full 4-pack to share with the Mrs. She enjoyed it as well and it went well with dinner (ham slices and corn fritters).

damndirtyape, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of Keith238
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time for this brew was on draught at the pub and loved it. One of DFH's many limited / seasonal releases. This review is a bit late in the making since my first was over a year ago. Since then, I've had more than a couple of pumpkin beers and this is certainly at the top of the heap. My only complaint is the drinkability. So many spices in this beer that it will haunt you the next day. Try as you might, you can't escape it. 2 or 3 and call it a night. Just make sure you stock plenty of it because your non-beer drinking friends will love it too.

See above for the numbers. I'm already tired of doing the A-S-T-M-D

Keith238, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of jaxray8
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

jaxray8, Sep 21, 2013
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,602 ratings.