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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

5,646 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,646
Reviews: 1,974
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 297
Gots: 749 | 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: 5,646 | Reviews: 1,974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjc410
2.28/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a one finger creamy light tan head over a clear copper body. It looks thin. Lacing is sudsy but still somewhat substantial. The head falls slowly to a glass ring. The nose is all about the strong pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. The pumpkin scent also comes through strongly, and I can easily pick out the brown sugar, too. There's also a dry toasty aroma that doesn't jive well with the rest of the nose. The taste is fairly dry, and dominated first by bitter toastiness, with the spices and pumpkin flavor in the background. The artertaste is fairly clean, too. There's nothing stand-out about this here. The body is medium, with sharp carbonation. I feel that a smoother and sweeter beer would be much better than this dry mess.

mjc410, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of rembrant
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Look Slightly hazy amber with a little head
(no,the head does not look like a dogfish)

AROMA Some lager type yeasts,some various uncertain spices. Really not a Pumpkin Pie scent

Taste- Nutmeg dominates after a little caramel tease. Pumpkin shows up in the aftertaste and in that context comes off more as underbaked unsweetened pumpkin than pumpkin pie. I happen to like nutmeg a lot but here I don't think it works,the choice of a German tasting yeast and a rather blunt wooden German type hops killed off the subtle sweet touch of the Nutmeg and amplified it's bitter side. I guess the idea was to merge pumpkin and malts,and merge the nutmeg and hops,but the whole never seemed at all in balance. I don't know if "cloying" can apply when there's hardly any sweetness but I had just 2/3 of the bottle and even so that last gulp was a bit forced

Mouthfeel- Body,texture,carbo,no problem.
Aftertaste....unsweet pumpkin,some yeast that hit my belly like a brick,and a harsh underbuffered,overdone nutmeg blast accented by a hops that brought out the wrong things...just not for me.

Drinkability Low

I LOVE Pumpkin Pie. I hand grate a lot of nutmeg when I make egg nog....somehow DFH missed badly if I found it hard to handle.

My sister in law isn't generally a beer person,but I've been giving her small samples of beers. She's liked some big stouts and handled some hoppy IPA okay. She liked Saranac's sweet but uninspired Pumpkin Ale. This...was the first beer she handed back to me...could not finish a 3 oz sample.

rembrant, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of MaximalC
2.34/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Pours a mostly transparent copper color with a finger of off-white head that settles slowly. Active carbonation bubbles can be observed ascending within the glass. Aroma smells of pumpkin spices, a vague, caramel sweetness, and some pumpkin as well. The taste features prickly nutmeg, cinnamon, et al. on the front end, which is soon superseded by a nasty, watered-down, metallic juiciness. This is accompanied by a peculiar, chemical bitterness that is neither resinous, floral, peppery, or any other acceptable adjective one might normally attribute to hopping. The finish, which is unmercifully prolonged, features the taste of wheat followed by cloying cinnamon-water. Some alcoholic heat can be detected on the back end as well. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy but overcarbonated, which exaggerates the spices. I finally caught some pumpkin on the vapors that linger between sips. It could very well be there in the middle as well, but if it is, it's buried under so much garbage that it can't be appreciated.

I'm not normally this harsh, but I'm calling a spade a spade--this beer is totally unrefined and borderline amateurish. Don't know that I've ever found anything by Dogfish Head I enjoy, but even by that standard this is sub-par.

MaximalC, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.35/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dogfish Head- Punkin Ale

Appearance- light golden amber with a thick lacing head.
Smell- Light Pumpkin with hazelnut and nutmeg.
Taste- Alcohol is the first thing tasted!? Followed up by a roasted hazelnut, blended with light pumpkin, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Mouthfeel- Alcohol burns at first, Flavors come through in the middle, and more alcohol in the end.

Overall- Not a good 1! I don't know many people who like Pumpkin Ale's, (I personally enjoy them) but this is a huge disappointment. Alcohol is too present and the pumpkin is too weak!
Give me a Post Road!!

NJpadreFan, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of PDXHops
2.35/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a La Chouffe tulip. A frothy off white head builds through the narrow part of the tulip to an impressive height, but mostly disappears rather quickly. A little scattered lacing. Slight haze to the amber body.

Nose is somewhat reminiscent of the carmelized stuff on the edges of a pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, any real pumpkin flavor seems to be drowned out by a wave of the usual suspect pie spices. Enjoyable bready malts aplenty underneath it all, but there's a certain metallic quality to the spiciness that just doesn't mesh well with the malts. And again, actual pumpkin flavor is rather lacking.

Overall impression: Enough with the gimmicky pie spice beers. I hope to find a decent pumpkin offering this year (Weyerbacher and Smuttynose, here I come). In the meantime, I'll pass on this one unless I find it on tap with the brown sugar rim that is apparently all the rage.

PDXHops, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of doppelmeup
2.35/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

Not a bad looking ale. Medium amber colored. Half-inch thick creamy head and a bit of lacing all the way down. Unfortunately, this was about the only good thing I could say about this beer.

Aromas of spice and alchohol. Not much pumpkin. Most of the other pumpkin ales I've tried have smelled better than this.

Taste was quite disappointing. Very bitter alcohol taste. Some spiciness. Reminds me of cheap malt-liquor. The more I sip this beer the less I like it.

The mouthfeel is simultaneously sticky and dry and watery.

Overall, I really didn't care for this beer. It is one of the worst pumpkin ales I've tried. Quite disappointing. I may pour it down the drain instead of fnishing it. I hope people who try this as their first pumpkin ale will not give up on the style. There are many other ones out there that IMO are much better--Cottonwood, Edenton, and Post Road all come to mind.

doppelmeup, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of TinusTime
2.38/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Im usually a fan of DFH beers and enjoy their beers that push the envelope, but this beer IMO was a train wreck.

Pours a medium brownish with some golden ruby highlights and a sort of khaki head. Smell is of spice and a bit of vegetable and pumpkin. The taste is pumpkiny up front and then just melds into a spicy malty mess followed by a drying hop finish that just jumps the train off the track. Drinkabilty was low as i was able to finish the beer, but wasnt going begging for another. Not one of the best pumpkin beers I had last year. Cottonwood was by far a more well rounded beer IMO.

TinusTime, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of monkeybutler
2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance...ugh.

I have to stop here. I love Dogfish Head. I love their beer. I've been down to their brewpub in Rehoboth, and it's a very long drive from my house. I admire and respect Sam to no end.

Okay. Appearance: poured a flat, almost still red-orange with no head. It really has nothing going for it in the appearance department. If I drink another of the 3 out of the 4-pack and it is carbonated, I'll come back and change this portion of the review. Also, before I get too far. A 4-pack? Really? That's...um...lousy. It's not WWS. It's not even 90 minute. Give me a whole damn 6 pack.

The smell is all spice, with a smidge of sqash/pumpkin, but mostly clove and cinnamon and... allspice, I guess. A slight alco-pop aroma of malt is somewhere in there too.

Taste is okay, really. I'm getting some cinnamon all over my mouth, and a little pumpkin essence, but mostly, it's essentially another pumpkin soda with some alcohol. Except of course for the complete lack of carbonation.

Mouthfeel. Yeah. Whatever that may be. I'm getting some cinnamon grittiness on top of a pile of "punkin". Maybe we've been punkd?

Oh god. I'm not going to drink another one of these. I will crack another one open to see if it's carbonated, but the rest are going to my mom who happens to like alcoholic pumpkin soda.

monkeybutler, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of Woppy5
2.44/5  rDev -38.1%

Woppy5, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of beer1018
2.45/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, nice 1 inch head. Color is amber with a touch of red. Smells of Cinnamon and nutmeg, getting some sort of smell rotting vegitibles as well. Taste is mostly nutmeg with alltile cinnamon, i am getting no hints punkin flavor. Really this taste more like some winter warmers to me. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy but nothing to write home about. Though the flavors are not offensive this beer let me down and after i finish the rest of my pack i doubt i will buy this again let alone taste unless this is included at an event i attend. Not reccomended, so far the best i have had for the style is Punking.

beer1018, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of santomark
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

A - Had this both on tap and in the bottle, very little head, disappears almost immediately. Color was very amber, a dark bronze, tainted orange.

S - Definitely, getting fall/autumn smells, sometimes pleasant and unpleasant notes. Faintly sweet, boozy from the alcohol, definitely pumpkin tones throughout the smell; however, the smell ends with this rotting pumpkin smell that hits the nose going into the throat.

T - This did not taste like it smelled. I will simply list the good and the bad. First the good, malted great, very light in the brown ale taste though; however, it does make up for it in other areas. Tasting this reminded me of carving a pumpkin; very reminiscent of the good things in fall. Now for the bad, I have a big issue with the finish. Very flat on the palate, this initially smells like pumpkin, but definitely no pumpkin presence throughout the drink, no sweetness from the brown sugar, this souring spoiled pumpkin finish, it reminded me of walking into the pumpkin patch and the aroma of rotting pumpkin in the field would unpleasantly hit my tongue.

M - Nicely done in the body, a light to medium bodied beer IMO. This is not full bodied. Very light from the pumpkin, the brown sugar gives off little carbonation, and a slight burning sensation if held on the tongue. The mouthfeel is very nicely done as always from DFHB

Overall - I am very disappointed in myself for giving this brew the rating I have. I love DFHB, I love the lengths they go for their consumers and for their own quality of product. However, this was unpleasant at times. I understand what they went for here, but a pumpkin is a squash, and I know they are very floral when opened, but if you bite into a pumpkin, it is very watery, little to no flavor. I can see the purpose of the brown sugar, but I would have liked to have tasted more of a sweetness throughout the beer. This was completely unbalanced. All in all, I will not be having this again. This beer needs to figure out what the hell it's aiming for.

santomark, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of JDV
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light, transluscent amber color with a light offwhite head. Smell was lightly metallic, mild pumpkin spice, and fucking alcohol. assholes. Taste was dry, very lightly flavored of standard pumpkin pie flavor, with noticeable alcohol present. Why the fuck make this 7% so you can taste the alcohol, and leave the base so weak, and mildly flavored? Christ. Not even as good as the Shipyard pumpkin beer which I hear is simply their summer beer with pumpkin spice added. This was a huge disappointment coming from DFH when they usually at least put out some creative, good beers. Very bland, dry and tastes, smells and looks like this was the recipe:

1 part water
1 part light beer
1 part vodka
stingy dash of pumpkin pie spice.

JDV, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of twincano
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%

twincano, Thursday at 05:16 AM
Photo of Eric03101
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%

Eric03101, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of zdauber
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

zdauber, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of tugg407
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

tugg407, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of dailyminefield
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

dailyminefield, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of HanniGunz
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

HanniGunz, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of uziangis
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

uziangis, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of caustin90
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

caustin90, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of BBrewington
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

BBrewington, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of angeepangie
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

angeepangie, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of lester619
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep orangish copper/brown. Bubbly head that settles at a thin film after about ten seconds. Very strong pumpkin pie spice smell. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, anise, all these and probably more are in there. There is also a fresh pumpkin smell like when you carve into a jack-o-lantern. Flavor is malty sweet and fruity at first. More of that fresh pumpking smell/taste comes out. The spice takes over every other flavor quickly. In the end, the only other flavor is a hint of booze on my lips. I've never been a fan of the spiced pumpkin beers. Every fall I try to keep an open mind, but the spices always turn me off. It was hard to finish the bottle. If you are into pumpkin beers, this is a probably a great one. It's just not for me.

lester619, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of sean_paul
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

sean_paul, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of abernethyj
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

abernethyj, Jul 10, 2013
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,646 ratings.