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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

4,545 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4545
Reviews: 1914
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%

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)
View: Beers (138) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 4,545 | Reviews: 1,914 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

This ale poured a clear, coppery color with off-white foam that settled quickly. The smell improved as the glass of beer warmed. It was slightly sweet and malty with hints of spices (allspice and cinnamon) and a whiff of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet (brown sugar) up front followed by a tangy maltiness with a touch of spices (allspice and cinnamon?) and hops in the finish. There was a touch of alcohol and the hop bitterness and spices lingered in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and tangy with medium body and moderate carbonation with some pumpkin texture. It was ever so slightly warming as well. This was a decent pumpkin ale, and improved as it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 05:02:53 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium head with below average retention. Aroma is quite spicy (probably some cinnamon and the pumpkin) with some malt also noticeable. Taste is also quite spicy with cinnamon being the most recognisable spices with some pumpkin on the side. Not bad but I wouldn’t drink a whole lot of this either.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2004 19:44:50 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of walleye


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a nice copper color with off white head that stayed around for a little while. aroma nice rich pumpkin pie like grandma use to make. flavors pumpkin cinnamon,nutmeg, nice smooth mouth feel. this is one of the better pumpkin beers I have had so far

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2004 04:07:54 | More by walleye
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with a thin white head. Aroma of pumpkin and spice is echoed in the taste. Smooth and not too heavy, which is nice for the style. Instead of a molasses-baked sticky-sweet brew (which wouldn't be bad, either), this is like pumpkin pie light. Pretty easy drinking, but not too complex, with just enough cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices to keep it interesting.

Solid, but not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 01:04:54 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of filabrazilia


3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown with a nearly non-existent tan head that rings the glass. There is some lace left on the glass.

There is a definite spice aroma to this brew--nutmeg is the most prominent, followed by cinammon and cloves. A sweet caramel malt joins in as well. This is a nice smelling beer.

The taste is sweet and spicy and a bit nutty in the mouth (pardon the Austin Powers reference). The finish is punctuated by a slight touch of alcohol. As it warms, there is an almost roasted malt flavor in the finish. Very nice.

This is a pretty thin beer for a seasonal. However, the flavor counters the lack of "substance" in this beer. You can really sense the hops in the finish--they are not obnoxious but assertive enough to balance the sweetness of this beer.

This is a good Pumkin beer--it is not overwhelmingly sweet but a very nice example of the style. I thought this was a very good beer that was worthy of another sample.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 03:43:49 | More by filabrazilia
Photo of 57andcounting


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brew with a short-lived head. Very little carbonation. Smell like a spice cabinet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and some lingering malt and a lot of alcohol as it warms. Doesn't sell like pumpkin pie to me though it does remind you of the season.

Taste is nice, a little spicy, a lot of alcohol, doesn't taste like a bear. More like a special mixed drink. Not bad. Great season brew. Has a real nice light mouth taste with just a nip of spice after taste. I might drink two, but no more. Then, I don’t think the folks at Dogfish Head thought they were brewing a session beer.

This is one of the better special flavor beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 22:37:36 | More by 57andcounting
Photo of Mitchster


1.75/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours out to a sparkingly clear orange(pumpkin)-amber, forming a soapy off-white head with good retention and average lacing. Aroma is spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg, reminding me of a Xmas ale which I brewed many years back (I hated it so all my friends drank it)..no real pumpkin aroma. A touch of smoky ham becomes evident when swirled, and is the best part of this brew. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is soft with a medium-dense body. Taste starts with off-putting herbal hops, followed by the nauseating spices, followed by amber malt husk bitterness, brown sugar alcohol bleh, and nasty Dogfish Head ruddiness. Aftertaste is limited to wet cardboard, diacetyl yuck, a mouthfull of copper pennies and sickening spice.

This beer sucks pumpkin ass.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 20:23:02 | More by Mitchster
Photo of Bierguy5


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 03:11:55 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - golden orange hue, a finger or so of thick soapy head, leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma - cinnamon and sweet spices. Fades after initial burst to a light cinnamon and spice aroma.

Taste - lots of spice, mostly cinnamon. The pleasantries of pumpkin pie are abruptly, if not expectedly, hit by a hefty dose of hops. There's enough malt to contribute to a toasty, mellow spiced aftertaste. Warming alcohol notes at the end as well and the occasional detection of brown sugar. Always the unique style interpretation from DFH. I could use less hops, but the abv makes for a nice winter-type warmer.

Mouthfeel - heavier body, alcohol-induced vapory residue. A cut above.

Drinkability - good stuff, but not my favorite. A good Halloween beer for next year's party, but a little too pricy for regular consumption.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 15:21:35 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of RedBaron


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good Thanksgiving beer by the always-nutty brewers at Dogfish Head.

Appearance: Pumpkin bronze; Good off-whit head which sustained nicely.
Smell: Heavy and pleasant autumnal spicing (clove/cinammon), easily conveyed by the aroma.
Taste: Wonderfully spiced beer. The label states allspice, nutmeg, etc. and I agree. There may be some carapils malt here that add a base sweetness, but the spices win the day. There is a nice bitter finish, suggesting a pretty darn good hop presence.
Mouthfeel: Nicely balanced -- not at all cloying, but not thin or watery either. The palatte is left with a great cornacopia of wonderful spices.
Drinkability: Very good. Not to sound cliched or trite, this is one pumpkin ale that gets my respect. Very complex.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 01:22:46 | More by RedBaron
Photo of rajendra82


3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was sent by clvand0, as part of a trade that has provided good beer in spades so far. After drinking a few bottles of Post Road Pumpkin Ale this year, I have realized that these beers have to be warmed up close to room temperature, before they become truly enjoyable, so that’s how I am going to do it.

The pour was clear, and orange in color with a fizzy head that vanished pretty rapidly. On par with the other pumpkin ales I’ve tried in terms of the looks.

The aroma had the pumpkin pie effect going, with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg mingled in with pumpkins.

The taste was light and spicy, with the pumpkin pie flavor, and some hop bitterness. Alcohol was only an afterthought, however at 7%, it is not too shabby.

Nice beer with a singular mission. Not my favorite taste in a beer, but enjoyable enough for an occasional detour.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 05:29:53 | More by rajendra82
Photo of bigbubba


3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice dark amber beer with a very small tan head. There was a sediment at the bottom which I didn't pour into my glass. It smells like a good ale, but with a heavy nutmeg aroma. This isn't as bad as many other Pumpkin beers I've tried. The taste is ok, I just don't like this kind of crap in my beer. The mouthfeel is good, without the decent body and 7% alcohol this beer would be undrinkable (by me). As for drinkability, yeah I might have another one- next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2004 23:34:43 | More by bigbubba
Photo of GreenWBush


3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the best pumpkin ale i've ever had. That isn't saying much. I didn't even add my reviews of Buffalo Bill's and New Holland's because they were completely negative.

Darker than true pumpkin, Punkin' is also lighter than the brown ale it partially claims to be on the bottle. A poofy head on a very vigorous pour and none on a pedestrian pour. No lace.

Hints of brown sugar about on the nose, with a bit of fishy pumpkin. Heavy cinammon and nuts as well.

The taste is like most pumpkin ales, a liquefied Gingerbread cookie. But in DFH's model the hops keep everything interesting and prickly. Lots of herbally biting hop to shut up the cookie quality of the style.

Mouthfeel's a bit astringent with all the spices and hops.

Mildly drinkable - a complement, IMO, to the style!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2004 23:28:07 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of steinlifter


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a light amber, slight head with little retention, smell was very interesting, pumpkin and spices!, taste followed, really nice, and light as well, mouthfeel was fairly thin, drinkability I would rate as high! very nice, captures the spirit of the season beautifully!
best pumpkin ale I've had yet!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2004 16:37:12 | More by steinlifter
Photo of ken3c


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So Clear I can read through my pint glass. Copper color with a solid layer of creamy foam. There is some slight lacing.

Pumpkin pie spice aromas with some serious fruity smells. There is another smell that took me awhile to pin down: Brown sugar. I used to put it on everything: cereal, peanut butter sandwich or just straight. I've never had this smell in a beer. I love it.

A sweet brown sugar taste is followed by bananas oranges and bitter orange peel like finish.

Medium carbonation, medium body and warming.

It seems like they threw everything but the kitchen sink in this beer. Some things work quite well. Others are just a distraction.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 22:42:00 | More by ken3c
Photo of TAMU99


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 01:41:58 | More by TAMU99
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Streaming bubble active body holds up a light tan head that mostly hazes over (into long-lasting drifts) a bold orange body. I thought to myself that it was a good color for a pumpkin ale.

Allspice rocks the nostrils and made me think that this would taste like a particularly spicy pumpkin pie. If there was such a thing as allspice candy, it would taste like this beer smells. Also some dry thickness in the background.

Tastes not nearly as spicy or sweet as the nose portended. Round and excellently mellow. Taste is set up as a combination of sweet and flavorful and dry and hoppy. Full mouth flavor of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice--tinged with sweetness quickly shifts over to a spicy, dry hop aftertaste. Sweet malt medium body. Very balanced brew and the alcohol being mostly imperceptible. Mellow and mild.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2004 17:32:22 | More by donnebaby
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean amber beer with a foamy off white head that flattens out quickly. The aroma is mostly pumpkin with subtle hints of spice in the background. I belive I could pick up cinnamon as the predominate spice. The spices start off the taste, wrapping themselves around the tip of your tongue. This is quickly followed by the sweet pumpkin flavor finishing off on the back of your tongue.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2004 00:27:25 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Winter


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown with a fluffy off-white head. Aroma consists of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg and "punkin". Mouthfeel is full-bodied. Biscuity malt, pumpkin and a slight sweetness upfront. Cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spices follow. The 7% alcohol is noticable in the finish.

This is one of the more solid pumpkin beers I've tried. I like the combination of added pumpkin spice and flavor to a brown ale. The slightly higher abv, than most other pumpkin ales, is fitting for a cool autumn night.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2004 02:55:14 | More by Winter
Photo of ngandhi


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This herbal American brown ale base balances well with fresh flavors of candied ginger and nutmeg. With a medium light body and dry, nearly tannic brown sugar finish, the spices clean up nicely -- this is not Christmas pudding.

The color is gorgeous with nearly no haze contributed from the starchy, beer-unfriendly pumpkin. In my head, I like to think the gourd is actually adding something to this beer because, though the spices are so wonderfully controlled, there is a long, lingering element of pumpkin pie that goes beyond the spices.

Beer first, Punkin comes to rely on the alcohol as it warms with a growing, Colheita-like emergence of toasted walnuts and almonds as well as dried berries. Though only 7%, the overall dryness of this beer leaves it open the torturesome nuance of truth -- everything that is in this beer is clearly revealed, from the spices and chocolately malt to the grassy 60 Minute IPA-like hops and dry adjunct.

If I take anything away from this beer, it's the nose so fresh of clove you'd think this were a hefe, yet so subtle and elegant that pies and reindeer never come to mind.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2004 02:35:11 | More by ngandhi
Photo of proc


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one out on a cool fall evening after raking leaves and watching college football on TV. This one pours out to a dark gold, almost brown in the glass with a slight head. The aroma is that of spice, which reminded me of a cross between a pumpkin pie baking and a pork roast loaded with thyme and rosemary. Weird? Yes, but true. The taste is quite good, with a nice dose of malt mixing with the spices. One of the best pumpkin ales I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 23:03:25 | More by proc
Photo of redmosquito


3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours an awesome orange color. It's clear with not much head at all. I get a mild spice aroma off this, with malt and maybe some pumpkin, sorry punkin', in the background. The flavor is definitely sweet with a nice toasted malt flavor carrying through to a spice finish. The spices seem more of a mouthfeel than an actual flavor, without any one spice dominating or even coming through at all. It finishes a little warming. Overall this is a decent pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 17:12:39 | More by redmosquito
Photo of 99bottles


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 Version. Has a neck label reading "Punk" this year. After seeing it mispelled so many times, I suppose they wanted to make known the difference between Punkin' and Pumpkin.

This beer pours a nice clear orange-copper color with a 1.5" head of off white. Head retention is slightly above average, and a tight quarter inch stays throughout the drink. The smell is of nutmeg first, then pumpkin. Lots of spices in this beer, but they don't really get in the way as in other pumpkin ales. The taste is balanced with real malts giving ground and imparting a sweetness that does very well with the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. A nice pumpkin flavor lingers in the aftertase. Body is well carbonated, and drinks lightly. 7% alcohol is well concealed. It's easy to have more than one of these. I look forward to it each year.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2004 17:54:17 | More by 99bottles
Photo of putnam


3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am indebted to reca for giving me the chance to test this beer before deciding to stock a case in my very space-limited retail set.

The aromas of this orange/tawny liquid are of split, mashed and boiled grains. Starchy and beery. On the palate it is creamy-textured and admirably balanced between bitter malty beer flavors -- reminiscent of a run-of-the-mill amber or brown ale. Subtle spiciness and gord-flavors can be decoded from the experience, but it requires some effort.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2004 17:26:39 | More by putnam
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a slightly malty scent which is overpowered with pumpkin and nutmeg aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a very smooth pumpkin flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit warm. It has a complex array of seasonings along with excellent balance. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good pumpkin ale. This and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale are among the best.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2004 01:04:41 | More by WesWes
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 4,545 ratings.