1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,124 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,124
Reviews: 1,941
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 270
Gots: 549 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,124 | Reviews: 1,941 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dstc
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a ruby color with a foamy light tan head which falls to a small head.

Spicy aroma up front. Pumpkin smell comes through as does subtle cloves.

Spicy pumpkin flavor in the mouth, nice malts and a slight alcohol finish.

Semi-smooth in the mouth and well carbonated. Nice alcohol bite for a fairly lowish alcohol level brew.

Good pumpkin ale. Nice to have beers like this when fall comes around.

dstc, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of Phread
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured clear amber-bronze with 2 fingers of off-white head. The head disappeared quickly with small amounts of lacing.

Aroma is somewhat sweet, if you can smell sweet, with nutmeg & cloves.

Enjoyed the taste. Pumpkin flavor comes through with medium hints of spices.

Carbonation was just the right level for me. No burps.

I finished the four pack in one sitting. I prefer Weyerbacher but this was still pretty good.

Phread, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of kernalklink
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Ordered this one to start up the evening and was pleasantly surprised. Poured a light, glowing orange-yellow with generous carbonation. Was very surprised at the hop chracteristic and very subtle use of what seemed like cloves and allspice- much less pronounced than other pumpkin ales I've had. Finished dry and very mildly malty-sweet. Very refreshing, very seasonal, drinkable beer- just not so sure the novelty would last year round.

kernalklink, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Look: Amber in color with a 1/3 inch head and ok retention with no lace

Smell: Lots of brown sugar and pumpkin up front with hints of caramel in the background

Taste: Upfront is a very nice pumpkin flavor and finishes with a very nice cinnamon note

Mouthfeel: Medium body and for me way too much carbonation

Overall: The maybe my favorite dogfishhead and pumpking beer today but that is really not saying much. Worth a try for sure

DarthKostrizer, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of arguemaniac
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

This brew is the closest thing I’ve tried to what you might call an “Imperial” pumpkin ale. It’s a bit beefier than most, with stronger, more complex flavors. It’s still got all those familiar pumpkin flavors; allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, the somewhat eclipsed pumpkin malt character, and some roasted notes. But, compared to most other pumpkin ales, the spice profile is bolder; the variety of flavor is more complex, the roast character is heavier and it’s noticeably drier. If you like pumpkin ales, but want more refinement, this might be your favorite once you try it. Recommended.

arguemaniac, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of fragilemacabre
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured into my trusty PBR pint glass...

I measure pumpkin beers against a Pumking standard, and that's a tall order. This stands up pretty well to what I want in a pumpkin beer, though. It doesn't have the extra spicy and savory punch of Pumking, taking a more laid-back approach. It looks okay, nothing to write home about. It smells more like beer than pumpkin, with malt, nutmeg and clove being dominant. Tastewise, there's a lot of nutmeg and some cardamom thrown in for good measure. It goes down pretty well, if a little watery, and leaves a tangy taste behind. I'd have paid for the four-pack, even if it's a little pricey, and I'll probably have this again before the season's out.

fragilemacabre, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

2010 vintage poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. I must say I've been a fan of this one for awhile. Pours a great burnt orange w/ nice white head and sticky lacing. The obvious scents are cinnamon and ginger. Tastes great w/ the brown sugar and spices coming through in the finish. They don't go overboard w/ the spices in this one, which is alright. I actually feel like I'm drinking a beer, versus a dessert. The mouthfeel is pretty fizzy; medium-bodied. The alcohol is well hidden; easy to put back a couple of these.

DFH never disappoints w/ this one. This is definitely one of the better pumpkin ales on a large scale. I can't go an October without this beer.. it screams fall.

BB1313, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

This was sampled at the Connecticut River Brewfest. I needed convincing... I don't like pumpkin, and the only other pumpkin ale I had tasted slimy. It was a 22 oz. bottle, and 21½ oz. went down the drain. But with a little encouragement from the people working the table, I decided to give it a try.

This one was a nice light brown ale, with a short but foamy head.

The aroma hits you with nutmeg and cinnamon, like a fresh-baked pumpkin pie. Again, I don't like the taste of pumpkin pie, but the smell is wonderful.

I noticed powerful nutmeg and cinnamon flavors in the taste, but also brown sugar and maltiness. There was no bitterness to speak of. I did not detect any pumpkin taste at all, so I was pleased.

Due to the spices, though, I couldn't drink too many of these... I'd get sick of it after about partway through the second.

connecticutpoet, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of Python6586
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Python6586, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of JordanChabot
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

This unusual take on an autumn beer could only be a creation of Sam Calagione and company. For those of you familiar with Dogfish Head's bottled works of art, you'll know exactly what I Am talking about. For those of you not familiar...I'm so sorry you've been missing out....But, this is a great beer to start with....
The pour is a thick, dark orange elixir with about a finger of creamy, tan head. The aroma remarkably filled the area as I poured this one and I was hesitant to bury my nose in it....but, of course, I did. The smell is not one of your average autumn, pumpkin-like beers. It was much spicier, as the allspice dominated most of the nose, and had a well balanced finish of sweetened nutmeg.
The taste was very surprising, as you get a touch of hop bitterness first, followed by a long single-file line of spices.... Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just the right touch of pumpkin hit the palate without the over sweetening common to this style. Finally, a very subtle brown sugar finish and a spacey carbonation polish things off...without a hint of the 7% ABV.
But hey, this was made on just another day at the Dogfish Head Brewery...one could only imagine.... what could be next?....

JordanChabot, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured into a tulip pint: Brassy, deeper golden-orange body, translucent, with a finger of off-white head that falls to a thin, swirly coating.

Smells of nutmeg & cinnamon, with a kind of bubblegum sweetness underneath. While the nutmeg is definitely forward, it doesn't bug me as much as in some pumpkin brews (or Christmas brews, for that matter). Definite pumpkin flavor, some brown sugar.

Spices in the flavor, too -- again, nutmeg up front, but with enough cinnamon & allspice to compete. Yeah...there's some banana bubblegum around, in the aftertaste. A little booze, but not bad. Nice spice aftertaste.

Some snap & bite, pretty crisp, medium-light-bodied. A little heat from booze, but nice & smooth in aftertaste.

Not my favorite for the style, but definitely not bad. About as much nutmeg as I can take without it hurting my liking. That said, I like it, but maybe two is my limit.

OneDropSoup, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of MistahBeah
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a crystal clear amber. About a finger of bubbly off-white head. Slight retention. Lots of carbonation

Smell is of squashy pumpkin malt. Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of brown sugar round this out. No hop aromas detected. Just malts and spice

Taste is similar. Lots of vegetal pumpkin here as well as some grainy pale malts. Spices are evident in both flavor and the dryness provided. Earthy as a whole - cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all play parts. If there's any brown sugar it's lost on me. There is some bitterness, though mild, and it's earthy and floral

Feels dry with moderate spiciness. Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Slightly thick

Overall a nice beer overall. This is a good balance for those who like pumpkin beers that don't sacrifice any beer flavor. The flavors aren't as bold as others of the style. I prefer a little more sweetness for the style. A good pumpkin ale to be sure, but not my favorite

MistahBeah, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of BlackAngus
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

A - Golden, clear, with a nice white head. Head fades to lace quickly.

S - Cinnamon and other spices dominates the aroma.

T - Not a lot of the flavor carries through. Nice malty breadiness, though.

M - A little heavier than I expected. Very nicely carbonated.

D - I could drink this often in the cold months.

BlackAngus, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

2009 Dogfish Head Punkin Ale poured dark copper with virtually no head and no lace. The color was very nice, with the darkness an autumn ale should have; however, the lack of foam was unsettling.

The smell and taste were pumpkin pie spices with ale coming through in the flavor but not so much in the aroma. The feel was thick and bitter with a little too much acid lingering on the tongue. It was an easy and awesome autumn sipper that improved immensely as it warmed.

The best harvest/pumpkin ales maintain the essence of "ale," with subtle touches of spice. With the vast majority, spice overwhelms ale. 2007 Punkin was the best ever and 2008 was too spicy. This one is somewhere in between, but far better than other pumpkin beers I've tried and a pleasure on cool late summer evenings. On the other hand, the bottles included in one four-pack are enough to do the trick.

MetalHopHead6, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of waltonc
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

On tap at Monk's Kettle.

A tasty fall treat I've enjoyed for the last four years now. This is the first time I've had it on tap. Very glad to see that Dogfish is expanding its repertoire in San Francisco.

Smells of pumpkin pie spices and tastes the same. The beer is well built. Not a half-ass piece of crap like that Buffalo Bills garbage. Mouthfeel is fairly thick, and complements the sweet, spiced pumpkin flavor very well. Carbonation is fairly pronounced. Can't drink too much though, or I'd get sick.

waltonc, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of abeerlovr
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

I had this served on draft in a standard pint glass. This pub just got this keg in so this was one of the first pours.

A: clear copper color with a nice head and good lacing on the glass.

S: I could not detect much smell, some caramel, some yeast and a definite "fruitiness".

T: nutmeg was the predominate flavor that I picked up in this beer, some allspice and cinnamon with hints of caramel. I really did not taste pumpkin, lots of nutmeg which increased as the beer warmed.

M: crisp, nice easy drinking beer, malty with very little hop presence. considering this is a pumpkin ale I expected it to be a bit heavier on the tongue.

Overall: I actually thought this was a nice beer, it was not too sweet, more malty vs. hoppy and smooth. I am definitely going to buy a 4-pack now, have been hesitant to spend the $$ not being sure I would enjoy this beer.

abeerlovr, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of GaBengal
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

GaBengal, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of AltTrinker
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Served in a 12 oz. brown, freshness dated, bottle.
Appearance: Pours a turbid, orangy-copper color with a thick, white head that slowly dissipates to one-half inch in a few minutes. Lacy patterns remain longingly on the glass.
Smell: Spices predominate. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mix with a fruity orange / pumpkin essence. As it warms, caramel and fruity overtones make their presence with the pumpkin coming in strongly at the end of the glass.
Taste: The hoppy bitterness and spices predominate over the maltiness and sweetness in a pleasant way. The pumpkin flavor comes at mid mouthfeel, finishing with the spiciness from the nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is clean with subtle lingering hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light body for this 7% alc. by vol. ale.
Drinkability: Although I generally gravitate toward the German brews with their adherence to the restricted ingredients of malt, hops, water, and yeast, this is a pleasant, enjoyable ale typical for the creative brews produced by Dogfish Head.

AltTrinker, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

A: I poured the bottle picked up from Hi-Time into my Russian River pint glass. It poured a clear, light brown color with a two finger off-white foam.

S: Not that much going on in the nose. I primarily pick up a yeasty and doughy aroma with some notes of spice.

T: The taste is much better than the nose, and for this, I am grateful. Nice notes of cinnamon and all-spice, and a solid pumpkin flavor. Not as sweet as many other pumpkin beers (ie. Pumking).

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. The carbonation helps to keep things a little bit lighter.

D: I've been wanting to try this one out as I figured if anyone could do a good pumpkin beer, it would be DFH. It's definitely a solid offering, and one of the better pumpkin beers I've had.

womencantsail, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured a clear amber / orange color with a thin head. A definite spicy aroma is quickly noticed. The taste is a nice balance of sweet and spice, as cinnamon and nutmeg are clearly evident. The body was slightly thin, and the spiciness lasts a bit on the tongue after swallowing. The higher alocohol content is barely noticeable. Nice beer to sip on a chilly October evening while sitting looking at your carved pumpkins, though it is not a beer to drink several of.

Gavage, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of One2Remeber
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Drinking two pints out of a growler filled just a couple hours ago.

A: Pours a weak bubbly white head that does not stay around for long. I heard a nice pop out of the growler so not sure where the carbonation went. Body looks almost transparent in the light but really is not. Cloudy, light brown sugar color.

S: Sugary sweet as far as the spices go, expecting the taste to be on the heavy side like a shipyard's smashed pumpkin (pugsley's series) compared to a lighter, warming sensation from the spices like Southern Tier's Pumking.

T: The smell did not lead me astray, extremely heavy pumpkin taste. The spices sit on your pallet and do not want to leave. I would say for a brown pumpkin ale the taste is spot on, just not for me. I could use some vanilla notes to balance out the harsh spice that is coming across as bitter. Not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie but if you but on some whip cream and I'll devour the whole thing, my favorite part being the crust.

M: Liquid form of pumpkin pie. Feels just like eating pie and there really isn't a lingering alcohol presence for a higher strength brew. Definitely a hefty bitterness from the spices stays around in the back on the mouth.

D: Not a beer I'm begging for seconds. I don't want to be too harsh, I love Dogfish Head, but I am picky when it comes to pumpkin beers and Southern Tier's Pumking is just out of this world and at the same time I don't think Pumking really resembles a true pumpkin beer like this brown ale does.

One2Remeber, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Bottle dated "2012V" ?

Beer is copper brown. Moderately sized-white head. Decent retention, fades at a fair pace to a film.

Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices in the nose. Brown sugar, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. Toasted malt with some caramel.

Taste is like the nose. Toasted caramel malt complemented with pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. Sweet, but not intensely so. Quite good. A well made pumpkin ale.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very solid and tasty pumpkin ale.

jrenihan, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of chickenflea
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

12-oz bottle
I really like this beer. It looks good when initially poured although it lacks some retention. It tastes great. Not too sweet, but balanced and spicy without being in your face. It has nice mouth feel, soft and average to low carbonation. It fails mostly in the aroma which is really weird, because pumpkin beers almost always excel in the aroma. Strange. It is also strange how the beer can taste so good with very little aroma. Anyway, it is a fine beer, and definitely one of the better pumpkin beers this season.

chickenflea, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of danadeny
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Light brown color with a hint of red. Odors of light nutmeg and pumpkin, maybe a little brown sugar. Malty sweet flavor at first. Light pumpkin pie flavor in the middle. And light alcohol and hop finish. Overall a balanced approach, nothing too hardcore.

danadeny, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours out of the bottle a reddish brown with a tannish head.
Big aromas coming from this beer. Pumpkin and an explosive cinnamon smell. You can smell this beer from across the room.
Nice maltiness balanced by the spicey notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hoppiness that sneaks itself in there amongst all the other flavors to be enjoyed.
The nuttiness of most brown ales is replaced by the pumkin flavors and complimented well with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and spicey flavors. This isnt a beer I can have more than 1 or 2 of, but a very well crafted beer.

Matthew, Nov 25, 2005
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,124 ratings.