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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,994 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,994
Hads: 6,007
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 341
Gots: 989 | FT: 8
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: 1,994 | Hads: 6,007
Photo of Treebs
2.62/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my DFH signature glass. Bottled in 2011.

A: Pours a perfect amber, leaning towards the darker side, with a small half finger very light khaki head that that fades into a thin ring and small pillow of film in the center from the etching.

S: Pretty disappointing. It's hard to pick up anything. Slight pumpkin and a slight cinnamon, but that's about it.

T: Very light pumpkin and then the spices take over. The allspice is leading the way with a slight cinnamon. Malts are the backbone for this. So far my expectations have not been met.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Good carbonation, medium bodied. Slight spice left on the palate.

O: Wow was I let down. After having Pumpking I was very happy to get a 4-pack of this and try them side-by-side. Punkin did not show up at first and when it did it left with its tail between its leg. Very disappointing. (878 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.64/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance looks great! A clear crisp and inviting brownish orange with a thin foamy head with a strong lacing. Smell is strange and sour with pumkin flavors. The taste is very sour pumkin rind flavor with the sweeter pumkin aftertaste, I'm not fond of this style I don't think. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and light bodied with much carbonation. Overall this was a bit dissapointing and I don't think I'll ever try this again. (425 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear orange/copper colored brew. The head was a half a finger width that stayed to play for a while.

S- There is a nice roasted nutty/earthy smell coming from this beer. I'm also getting some of the 7% abv though the smell as well.

T- The roasted nutty/earthy smell is there in the taste as well. The taste is sharp and almost feels like a shot of cheep vodka was dropped into this beer. The after taste is bitter and not appealing.

M- The bitter after taste is not what I was wanting in this beer and it has its way with your tongue.

D- I've had much better pumpkin ales such as Night Owl from Elysian. (614 characters)

Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Perfect light amber color with a small whitish head that is gone within the minute leaving nothing. I suppose this isn't surprising given the light and fizzy body. Smells like sweet maple syrup - maybe a touch or coriander thrown in for good measure. Tastes, ah, shucks. Bummer. Well, you know, I read the bottle and I was expecting a horror like the Shipyard. Thankfully, it's not that. The spices are light and easy. Ok, half way through the bottle I now get a whiff of pumpkin pie spice on the nose. But the flavor... It's awfully dry (and crisp) - which I find very surprising. Then there are these Thanksgiving spices floating around, and all, but there is an overwhelming sour note to it all. Is that the hops? Do I have a bad bottle? I don't know! I don't know what it's supposed to taste like! I'll certainly be fair and give this one another go at some point, but, whoa. (879 characters)

Photo of mrunseen
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a Leffe glass.

Appearance: Poured a golden / bronze color with an initial head of about two fingers which disappeared during the session. Very little lacing.

Nose: There is some spice in the nose, which I was able to detect in the taste as well ... sweet and spicy smell with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Not as spicy as the nose would allude to, although, admittedly, I am not a pumpkin ale fan. I did not taste pumpkin in this beer.

Mouth: Thin and a bit watery. The alcohol was detectable. Overall, I was unimpressed.

Drinkability: If you like the taste, this would be a drinkable beer. However, as it's not quite my type of beer, I will not be having this particular beer again. (696 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at pacific beach taphouse.

A - Poured copper-golden with 1 finger of head that dissipated fast. Left no lacing.

S/T - Honey and subtle notes of cinnamon and clove. Where is the malt complexity and the hops?

M - Light bodied and malt dominated. I could not get a smidgen of hop goodness out of this beer.

D - Sam needs another go at this one. For a brewery that sells beer at a premium, this one needed some help. It lacked distinct pumpkin flavors, the spice aroma was faint, and the ale was lifeless. (512 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this pumpkin beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. I had seen it on the TV on a show about the brewery and wanted to try it as it sounded pretty good. I would have to tell you no I do not like it it at all. Poured it out in fact and will not buy again. (259 characters)

Photo of Vendetta
2.72/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Original Rating Date:
September 19, 2008

Pours light brown, smells like pumpkin pie. Lots of brown sugar and ginger, pumpkin flavor. Sweet. A bit too much carbonation, some stinging alcohol there also which is uncharacteristic for a DFH brew. Average at best. (260 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Bailey's Taproom in downtown PDX.

A: Pours a clear coppery color (like pumpkin juice... SORPRIZE!) with moderate head, decent retention, and a few rings of lace down the glass. Pretty nice.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and biscuit. Pretty decent, but after having had a better pumpkin ale the night before, it's not pungent enough to wow me.

T: This tastes like spicy pumpkin soda. An artificial pumpkin flavor to it (which is weird, because I know this is brewed with real pumpkin), finishing with cinnamon, nutmeg, and biscuit. A malty finish. No burn.

M: Fizzy and overcarbonated, which may explain the soda comparison; it's light-bodied and even a bit watery.

D: First and probably last time having this. (729 characters)

Photo of jed
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a light orange, amber color with a small head, no lacing.

Smell: Very sweet and spicy aroma. Clear nutmeg, cinnamon scents. Punkin' smells much spicier than other pumpkin brews and less like the actual dessert.

Taste: Initially sour with very strong allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors, almost like Old Bay. A hint of hops, and more brown sugar as the beer sits. The sourness fades about halfway through the beer, but you still get a weird, yeast/vegetable aftertaste that spoils the brew.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with light carbonation. The aftertaste lingers a bit.

Drinkability: I can't see having more than one of these. Taste aside, the 7% alcohol is pretty formidable, especially for a pumpkin beer.

I'm a huge fan of Dogfish Head, but I can't say I care for this beer. It needs more malt or hops to balance the spices, which overpower the brew's taste. If you're interested in this style, I'd suggest trying Post Road Pumpkin Ale instead. (977 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
2.76/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bottled in 2010. fresh pumpkin beer.

I was kind of surprised to see the ratings on this beer. I remember liking it a lot more. Being 7% ABV, it would certainly age well. But this time I found it to be boozy and somewhat spice dominant rather than actual pumpkin flavors.

a- More of an amber ale than a brown as the bottle states. Some head retention issues, maybe due to the alcohol content. I will say it is remarkably clear.

s- Smells like a spiced up barley wine.

t+m+d- It tastes rather young. Boozy and sweet. I kind of find the spice dosage to be overpowering. There is notable pumpkin flavor, but it is masked by so many other stronger flavors. and although I love my high ABV beers, it just doesn't seem to fit into this beer. The harsh booziness is distracting from the pumpkin, which is the reason I bought this particular beer. Kind of a mess. Maybe its too fresh/young.

I am usually not so critical. I love Dogfish Head and don't mean to rip on them. Just being honest with this beer. (1,003 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.77/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer emerges a very light amber color, certainly not indicative of a brown ale. No brown to speak of. Head is white but has nice retention. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Aroma is weak. Not much if any pumpkin or other pumpkin type aromas. Sweet smelling. Not much hops in the nose here either. Possibly some molasses but otherwise, a very average beer, aroma wise.

Taste is overly sweet and completely unbalanced. I taste small amounts of cinnamon and cloves, but otherwise, just a regular ale. Certainly not a brown, maybe closer to a light red ale. Very dissapointed here as well.

Overall, not a good beer. Mouthfeel has some redeeming qualities as it is close to medium bodied. I do like the spicy cinnamon that pops all over the mouth, almost like strong pepper or pop rocks. Some astringency detracts and deters. I purchased a four pack of this, and it will probably be the only four I ever purchase.

I dont know why it is so hard to make a good pumpkin beer. I have had two pumpkin beers (Post Road and Cottonwood) that are actually pumpkiny and balanced and the whole nine. I love this style and wish there were more offerings that tasted like pumpkin and the fall season, etc. Sigh... (1,252 characters)

Photo of beagle75
2.79/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with peripheral ring of white foam. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very spicy smell, featuring cloves and nutmeg; also with faint cola and cornmeal.

T: Begins mildly spicy, displaying flavors such as cinnamon and nutmeg, with distinct corn tortilla that is re-asserted at the end of the surprisingly bitter finish.

M: Medium viscosity with prickly carbonation that seems to interfere with the depth of flavors present.

D: Although referred to as a "full-bodied brown" ale on the label, this is more like a pale ale with aggressive spices added. The unpleasant flavors here may lend themselves more acceptably to the company of mild savory dishes, but taken alone they cannot help but be called into question. (794 characters)

Photo of rohrbachsfan
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear amber orange, little head, no lacing on glass.

Smell: Smells like sweet alcohol with a hint of spice.

Taste: Weak pumpkin flavor, nutmeg is the spice that stands out, and it's just a little too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thin.

Drinkability: Wouldn't buy this one again. (282 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this as a side by side comparison with the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Also, I'd like to make it clear that I am a very big fan of DFH's IPAs and Brown Ale.

Pours a copper red color with good clarity and a small white head.

Aroma is pumpkin spice with a huge emphasis on the nutmeg. Other spice was detectable like cinnamon and there was a bit of hops.

Taste was pretty flat to me. Mostly wet hops and pumpkin spice. Not very good. There wasn't a good beer taste. It just didn't seem to have a backbone.

Mouthfeel was stingy and watery. Very one-dimensional. Won't get this one again. (602 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A beer that pours a deep copper color. A slight copper-ish/tan head on top. Fades to a thin lace then spotty patches. So far so good but after the appearance, this beer falls apart. Aroma is of spice, nutmeg cinnamon a bit of malt but very little pumpkin. I found it (the pimpkin) hard to find. Taste matches the aroma. Where is the pumpkin? I was hoping for a gritty earthy tone of the pumpkin to complement the spices but was let down. Medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is great if you’re into spiced beers but as for a pumpkin beer goes…there are better (566 characters)

Photo of DrJ
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not having had a chance in the past to taste pumpkin-inspired ales, and given the strong (positive) reviews associated with this product, decided to try.

Color is attractive with good head retention, notes of cinnamon and squash on the nose, palate is very odd to me, with notes of spice and gourd, strangely vegetal hops flavor with unpleasantly sweet malt notes reminiscent of artificial maple-flavored syrup, long aftertaste is also unpleasant, with strange vegetal notes.

Would not recommend, which is disappointing given the excellent products made by Dogfish (I enjoy and recommend both their 60- and 90-minute IPAs).

At issue is whether or not my (unpleasant) experience is style-centric or product-centric; nevertheless, based upon this experience, I will not be tasting any pumpkin-styled seasonal beers for a long time. Perhaps I can exchange the unopened bottles for some strong IPAs or hop-centric Pilsners... (925 characters)

Photo of bcsbeer
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Hazy amber with a off white Dogfish Head. Reduced down to a ring with spotty lacing.

S: Not a lot for the nose.

T: Medicinal with a big alcohol presents. Clove and cinnamon with some pumpkin in the back round.
M: Was a little syrupy with low carbonation.

O: This was the last one of the 4 pk I bought in the fall. I have been avoiding it in the back of my refrigerator for several months, nothing changed. Not a good year for DFH. I have have had it in the past and liked it, and will give it another try this year. (522 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color, with a white head. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. In the taste, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and a brown sugar sweetness. A spicy mouthfeel, with a dry brown sugar aftertaste. Nice spices, yet a bit sweet. Not much of pumpkin presence, yet still nice. (299 characters)

Photo of cvm4
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is from a 12oz. bottle from the 2011 release.

A - Upon pour, you get a nice amber color with just a hint of haze to it. The head was at least a good 2 fingers (might have poured too quickly) with minimal lacing. It quickly dissipates into a ring of foam around the glass.

S - With all the spices listed on the label, it's hard to discern individual smells.

T - Overloaded with spices and very little pumpkin taste, which disappointed me. The cinnamon is somewhat muted along with the pumpkin but I did get tons of allspice. I was hoping to taste more pumpkin.

M - Great medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

O - I was really let down. Too many spices going on in this beer and not enough pumpkin taste. (727 characters)

Photo of cbutova
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Murky orange-brown with a large off-white, frothy head. Good retention and a ton of fine lace.

S- Smells like typical pumpkin ale spice and a bit sour actually, lacto-esque for sure. "Bottled in 2010 5E" Mostly nutmeg with a little bit of pumpkin behind it.

T- One thing that jumps out at me right away is the alcohol, not hidden at all for 7%. The nutmeg stacks with the alcohol to make a slightly offensive flavor. The cinnamon is also highly present, too spicy. I get some nice pumpkin notes but they seem random, having to get past the spiceahol. The more I drink, the more I get that "wet dog" vibe.

MF- Light creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty warm from alcohol. Huge coat of spice coats the palate.

DB- Between the alcohol and the spices, I would prefer to split even the 12oz. A good pumpkin flavor masked by way too much spice flavor and alcohol. I probably should have been ready for this. I guess unbalanced is most appropriate here. (974 characters)

Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On sight, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale pours clear, pale gold, hinting toward a caramelish brown. The scent it gives off is comprised of brown sugar, slightly caramelized, with hints of vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. The smell is vaguely creamy, with a hint of pumpkin. On the palate, it starts off slightly sweet, with a moderate mouth feel, and a delicate carbonization. Flavor wise, it’s full of brown sugar, light caramelization, cinnamon, allspice, and a touch of nutmeg. The pumpkin element is subdued, but still present, in a distinctly squashy kind of way. It finishes on the spicier side, with touches of butter and a hint of bitterness. (652 characters)

Photo of BeerCheese
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Crystal clear and light brown. Big white head with big pillowy bubbles in it. No head retention to speak of though. Smell of ginger and a bit of pumpkin. Taste of pumpkin pie and beer blended together. No carbonation to speak of, and medium body. Not something I would ever buy again, but worth trying once. (307 characters)

Photo of dmb13nd
2.86/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap, unfortunately, after trying a different pumpkin ale that performed much better. The pumpkin taste was too subtle, allowing the spices to slightly overpower it. Hoppy aftertaste, which I normally don't mind had a small twinge to it that I can't quite put my finger on right now. (296 characters)

Photo of vtfan77
2.87/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear golden orange with a decent but short-lived white head

S- Very spicy, but tough to pick out any individual spices. Some malt and maybe a little pumpkin, but not much.

T- Once again, lots of spices. Allspice and nutmeg are prevalent. Some caramel and toffee malt flavors as well. Pumpkin isn't especially noticeable, only coming into play on the finish. Alcohol is surprisingly noticeable. I know this is 7% abv, but it tastes stronger. Finish is dry and surprisingly bitter. Pretty harsh.

M- Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and pretty nice.

D- Not so good. Flavor and alcohol presence are pretty strong. I wouldn't want more than one, if that.

My first pumpkin ale, and kind of a letdown. The flavor is just not what I was expecting at all. The spices and alcohol were too much, and I didn't really enjoy it. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't get it again. Not recommended. (898 characters)

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,994 ratings.