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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,991 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,991
Hads: 6,006
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
Wants: 339
Gots: 987 | 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: 1,991 | Hads: 6,006
Photo of Vancer
2.88/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear amber brown, with a decent, but wimpy, ivory head that pops off some weak lace rings.

Rest is all disappointing, aroma is of weak pumpkin and clove. Taste trys to make it, but lacks any real commitment to the Punk. This is just a brown with some spices thrown in. And an average pumpkin, but for the freaking high dollar cost ($13 a four pack) – the drinkability really lacks. Local beers at a lot better cost whip this ones’ ass. (439 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber color with a decent head with good retenton. Smells of light pumpkin pie, all spice, nutmeg, but not too overpowering at all. Some hop spice in the aroma as well. Tastes of maltiness, all spice, nutmeg, and once again not too overpowering on the spiciness and pumpkin flavors. It's all really kind of "meh" to me, to be honest. I don't get what the big deal is with this beer, and never have. Mouthfeel has lots of carbonation, medium bodied, and crisp finish. One is enough for me on this one. (513 characters)

Photo of wangbruins
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Semi-dark orange that was translucent with a two inch head that settled to one very quickly

S- Pumpkin (what else?)...well, actually, not much else

T- Pumpkin and a hint of ginger, not much though, so that made it pretty disappointing

M- Very light and bubbly, almost like pop, with no aftertaste

D- It's like drinking water so it's really pretty easy to drink (367 characters)

Photo of sfprint
2.94/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A hair dark rose (wine) soda. Uniform rising carbonation like an aquarium pump. Quickly disappating head.
S: Kind of musty, but peachy too. Artificial peach, rose water, dandylion. Very weird. Like a strange yellow squash soup. Not exactly appealing.
T: My first pumpkin beer, and it is unlike anything i've ever had. Certainly strange, but not as weird as the smell. I'm not really getting any of those ingredients listed on the bottle. Strange pepper, rootbeer, odd bitterness. Planty. It tastes sort of like a plant you're not supposed to eat or a plant that you're questioning whether it's edible or not. Odd.
M: Tart, slighty astringent. very light carbonation.
O: Interesting, and I'm drinking all of it but I doubt I'll have it again. (746 characters)

Photo of claspada
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer looks appropriately amber with a thin head that dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like a thin honey amber.
Smells of brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. Dont get any of the other likely spices. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkin pie, which I do not enjoy as much.
The prevalent brown sugar makes it seem more India Brown like its cousin than Red or Amber like it is supposed to. This beer is just too over the top sweet, "standard Pumpkin" and a bit boozy for me to be impressed. (And I can say this because 2 of my favorite pumpkin beers, Weyerbacher Imp Pumpkin and Southern Tier Pumking are also high in ABV while not tasting like a thick sloopy mess). It's just not quite as pumpkiny as it should be, cinnamon and clove alone do not make it a pumpkin beer.
Overall this is more like cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie); this is far from the go-to for the style for me, and this is a style I have had a lot of. (1,014 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vint: 2011

A: pours an orange ale with no head production and a thin, broken sheet of white foam culminates around the edges forming a rim. No lace. Excellent clarity.

S: It's actually tough for me to smell much here. Some faint hints of clove and nutmeg, and some sweet malts.

T: Sweet, nutmeg, and I can't help but taste a hint of lemongrass on the finish.

M: Medium on light bodied with high carb and semi dry finish.

O: A little more subtle than some of the other pumpkin's I've had, but again, nothing special. (520 characters)

Photo of laintringulis
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in a pubglass

Pours a bronze-orange color with small loose foamy white head. Large amount of tight carbonation.

Smells like a good herbal tea. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. Vague sweetness, vanilla, maple, light oakiness. No real pumpkin smell.

Very mild/vague pumpkin taste. If I didn't know there was pumpkin in it, I don't think I would have tasted it. Malty sweet, nice spicy blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, giner. Tastes like you brewed an herbal tea bag in a beer.

Mouthfeel too syrupy at first, finishes with a spicy and hot alcohol finish. Starchy in the middle.

Light plus bodied, nicely carbonated. I would have rated the drinkability higher if I liked the taste more. (711 characters)

Photo of AndoBrew
2.97/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*i did not like and will not buy*

app: orange with gold hints, neat lookin .. like halloween. lil cream head.

smell: pine smelling hops. nutmeg.. smells more like a good candle flavor .. if it smelled stronger.

taste: lotsa odd hops, little bit of nutmeg in the finish.. not much punkin.. it is a rude beer, so I can see how the name came about, it seems un balanced, almost like a medicine for a second or two. not for me. to un blended and balanced, to harsh, not enough warming malts to give it a good backbone.

mf: fine

drinkable?: kinda, its not really good though.

keep on trying DFH I love the intresting efforts, and when you get them right, its such a treat (685 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
2.98/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a classic brown ale amber with a thin collar of eggshell white foam leaving light lacing. The nose has allspice and cinnamon upfront, faint hints of banana custard and clove - the pumpkin is almost barely there to me and not sure i could pick it out had i not known thats what the beer is. The mouth is full of baking spices along with yeasty esters, the pumpkin is a bit more noticeable but so is the alcohol leaving a drying, astrigent feeling in my mouth. Far from an upfront pumpkin beer almost more of spiced belgian ale to me, really not a huge fan. 2011 release. (575 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.98/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 9/19/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a clear brown-light brownish colored body, with a huge head, white, and lasting. Has a malty spicy aroma, some cinnamon, and nutmeg, weakish though. Has a nice taste of pumpkin, light malty taste. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. (265 characters)

Photo of predikit
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Pours amber turning to auburn with a small white head with no retention, leaves no lacing behind.

Smells very nicely of pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

The taste isn't as good as the scent here, sweet and spice of front which quickly gets overwritten by an odd flavor, not a pleasant one either. The alcohol really shows up at the end, which I can't say I enjoy either.

Medium bodied, sticks around for a long bit after a swallow.

A good start to an unpleasant finish, left slightly disappointed. (504 characters)

Photo of Kudashov
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 4 pack at Marty's in Newton . Just to let you know , they have a kick-ass glass section now . To go with their kick-ass beer section . This brew was poured into a pint glass with the Red Sox on the tube and Joe Jackson on the hi-fi .

When opened there was very little pumpkin aroma than what there was from the other 2 pumpkin brews I had over the weekend . Spice & gingerbread comes to mind . The smell was just average . The appearance was average too . Clear with a small head that did not last long with very little lacing . For flavor , the brew was as weak as the aroma . It was a bit watery and a tad bitter . I am a fan of DFH brews and I enjoyed their other offerings but this may be the last time for this . Not when I had 2 brews of this type . ( which were head and shoulders better than this ) .

Cheers .. C'Mon the Hoops !! (853 characters)

Photo of Jomolieri
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


It's a very drinkable beer, light, sweet smooth. It starts smooth and finishes in the mouth with a bit more body. The flavors are subtle as is the scent. It just disappoints if your looking for a beer that really says "Autumn". This is something I could drink in the summer, or any other time of the year because it lacks a definitive Character in it's flavor, scent, and feel.

If your looking for a beer that reallly says autumn in the mouth with all it's flavors go for Elysian's rendition of the pumpkin ale.

Dogfish again delivers a decent beer but yet again being way overpriced. $13/ 4-pack (607 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the few DFH beers that I hadn't had before so I decided to try one of their 2010 batches. I wasn't impressed with the first but now, here with a fresh palate, I shall review the second.

Copper with some hints of ruby pours with virtually no head. Lacing is non-existent.

Nose is of pumpkin with a smell that is suggestive of light spices and a bit meaty, oddly enough.

Malts up front but are balanced with hops and spice. Everything plays together nicely with none outdoing the other but a mediocre balanced beer is still mediocre even when balanced. I don't get any cinnamon but more on the spectrum of light allspice and nutmeg. No discernible hop flavor as I would expect from a typical pumpkin, but since there is no strong spice flavor I would want a little more. Definite malts and pumpkin without a whole lot else backing this up...

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Great for the style.

I have to say that I'm very disappointed with this brew from DFH overall. There isn't anything that makes it stand out from other commercial offerings and with the flood of pumpkin ales for the holiday season this beer is little more than lackluster for my taste buds. (1,175 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter. 2010 edition.

A: Pours a bright glowing orange with a thin short-lived fizzy head that vanished into a faint film and collar around the glass. Some streaks of wispy lace present.
S: Smells strongly of allspice, nutmeg, and maybe cinnamon. As I swirl the glass around I can pick out notes of pumpkin pie filling, but not much.
T: Again, lots of spices dominate a touch of pumpkin flavoring. Alcohol and a touch of hop spiciness rounds out the finish. Good flavor, but not great.
M: Fairly slick not quite watery mouthfeel over a medium-thin body. Carbonation is prickly and sharp and the alcohol isn't hid very well.
D: I was disappointed by this one. I could have sworn I loved this beer last year, but then again my palate has matured immensely. I'll lay down one or two bottles and see how they do with a little age. (848 characters)

Photo of marvin213
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer looks appropriately orange. A thin head dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like an amber. A pumpkin beer that looks orange is purty cool in my book.

Brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. That's really all I smell. I don't know exactly what allspice is, and I struggle to get the nutmeg. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkiny. Even if the aim is more pumpkin pie-like, the nose has less substance from that which it claims as namesake.

The prevalent brown sugar makes it more Indian Brown like its cousin than Indian Red like Thanksgiving...and autumn, and everything else we're supposed to associate with pumpkins. It's not quite as pumpkiny as it should be. Only the cinnamon makes it seasonal. Maybe the real pumpkin makes it look orange, but pumpkins don't exactly smash my taste buds. Perhaps I wouldn't want them to, but I'm left wanting more pumpkin from this pumpkin ale.

The cinnamon provides my cheeks a pleasant tingle and, as always, sugar sits well. The nutmeg presents a tad in the aftertaste, and more at the forefront would enhance this beverage. Again, I'm underwhelmed by the pumpkin effect. It feels more cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie).

Pumpkin ales are such a niche market--a definitively seasonal style. As such, I have relatively narrowed expectations. This one falls short. It's too sweet to sip multiples, and too strayed to serve seasonally. Though I have enough respect for DFH to keep trying every year, this is far from the go-to for the style. (1,578 characters)

Photo of normZurawski
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks ok, nothing special, thin amber. Smells like beer I don't really care for. Over-spice is all you get. Tastes like it smells. Light bitter finish, not in a good way. Lacks bite in the mouth. Finish lingers but is hurt by over-spiced imbalnce. So-so drinkability. This is the kind of beer that makes people not like DFH so much. (332 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours crystal clear amber orange with hardly any head. The spice aroma, while present is fairly muted. Just a slight hint of clove/cinnamon. The flavor is vegetal and not especially pleasing. The bitterness is fairly high and overpowers the spice. There is little alcohol burn until the finish and then dry subtle spice lingers along with some bitterness. The body is a little light.

I expected more. Dogfish is generally about more of everything. I would have expected more pumpkin, more spice, more everything... (517 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a clear auburn color with some lighter pumpkin colored hues. Light froth of off-white head rests on top, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

A cornucopia of spice in the nose with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin notes. Faint hops and bready notes, caramel sweetness, light warmth.

Spicy and sweet up front with nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin flavor with leafy hops. Caramel and bready backbone. Kind of a mix between pumpkin pie and a spice bomb. Finishes a bit warm and sticky.

Medium body, high carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. This wasn't bad, but not exactly something I'd want again. (652 characters)

Photo of WonderWoman
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge.
It poured a dark golden with a small rim of head that lingered for a short time.
The smell was of chewing gum that you get from the gumball machine for a nickel and some really awkward spices that didn’t mesh well together.
It tasted of light subtle spices with a tangy afterthought followed by hints of bubble gum.
The mouth feel was smooth and it coated my mouth. It also had energetic carbonation.
I don’t think I would order this one again. I didn’t care for it in the bottle and I don’t care for it on tap. (566 characters)

Photo of beerman21
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the look of this beer i would not say this is a brown ale on appearence alone. Smell was not what i expected nothing pronouced some pumpkin and malty background hints of spice. Taste of this brew was pretty well balanced with a sweet malty flavor hints of pumpkin but not to overwhelming. It has a nice hoppy background as well, creamy texture. Not a big fan of pumpkin ales. i've always wanted to find a decent pumpkin brew but everytime i seem to be disapointed. Luckily this by far is the best one i have tried. Doesnt taste like a artificial pumkpkin soda its a beers ladies and gentlemen and pretty decent one. Not great but decent give it a try but my days of buying pumpkin beers are over. (701 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Acquired as part of a four pack at the Cap 'N' Cork in Los Angeles a few hours ago.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a four finger white head of nice cream, pretty good thickness, and good retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour of the body is textbook transparent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Fairly vibrant, but nothing special.

Sm: Brown sugar, spice (including distinct cinnamon), clean malts, light toasted malts, and pumpkin. Pumpkin is substantial - a good characteristic for the style (you'd be surprised how many pumkin beers I've had that featured very little pumpkin). I'm excited for it. Aroma is dry in character and average in strength.

T: Spice and pumpkin are the first thing I notice, with some texture-affecting brown sugar throughout. The foundation is comprised of clean bland malts. The spices don't feel all that balanced. It's got body, but mostly because of the mouthfeel rather than the flavour. No yeast comes through at all. The pumpkin is nice. The brown sugar comes through most on the climax, where I can almost feel it rotting my teeth. It's a pretty sugary build all around - a substitute here for Dogfish Head's usual trademark sweetness. Where their IPAs are sweet, this is sugary. Some limited subtlety, but little complexity or impressive layering. Indeed, there's nothing unique or special here. Feels manufactured and par for the course. No alcohol comes through. I do get cinnamon.

Mf: Surprisingly dry, with emergent wetness only coming roughly at the midpoint. A bit too thick. Smooth. The mouthfeel distracts from the flavour. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Horribly overpriced for the disappointing quality. I expected no better from Dogfish Head. I wouldn't get this again. A bit rubbish. Drinkable but boring and bland. Rather simple. Hides its alcohol well.

Low C+ (2,086 characters)

Photo of Julz
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A beautiful golden color with a think head when poured.

Stale bread with a nutmeg smell which makes you think of fall and crisp cool air.

Bitter right off the bat, then strong "alcohol" flavor and then finished again with bitter.

Medium body which is nice in the mouth.

I was really looking forward to trying this beer, kinda disappointed. I like IPA's and bitter ales but this is just a little to strong for me. I think I prefer the Post Road Pumpkin Ale better.

Serving type: bottle (490 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin ales are a rare find here in California. This offering can't be found in Cali....yet. Bought when I was in Phoenix recently. Well, on to the beer:

It's a filtered copper orange...you can see the carbonation bubbles in the body. The head is soapy, sits about a 1/2 inch high before dropping into a thin sheet. Lots of nutmeg in the aroma. Mild pumpkin sweetness compliments the nutmeg and assorted spices. The taste, right of the bat, is very spiced. Not much of a malt base, which would help this beer. The first few sips are pleasant, but thereafter it takes a little work to get down. The beer leaves a numbling feel on parts of the palate, with a strong kick of spice as it goes down the throat.

This one packs a wallop of spice. The warming feeling feels nice, but the taste could be a little nicer. (813 characters)

Photo of Gasp100
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a nice, clear copper color with nice rising tan head and mild lacing down the glass. There was some scent that just seemed off to me -- I could get the pumpkin pie smell, but also like burnt rubber or something... weird.
The taste was pretty subdued. Definitely nutmeg, spice, cinnamon bit not nearly as pronounced as I remember it from last year.
I wasn't impressed as much this year; it is ok and I don't mind that it's subdued, but just not enough going on to keep me interested. (497 characters)

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,991 ratings.