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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: 6,011
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 342
Gots: 994 | 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: 6,011
Photo of santomark
2.52/5  rDev -35.5%
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. (2,018 characters)

Photo of Premo88
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(2013 T 13 17 printed on bottle)

L: beautifully clear; orange, like a darker pumpkin; nice 1-inch head with a little stick (poured into pint glass, the head barely pokes up with no stick or lacing); looking at the beer and its clarity for some reason makes me want to try more Dogfish Head brews ... it's quite beautiful, though the lack of head in the bigger-mouthed pint glass is a slight downer

S: pumpkins for sure; grain; brown ale-like

T: something different; a pinch of brown sugar, pumpkin, very dry like a saison; grainly; absense of sweetness noteworthy, as if you're drinking a pumpkin rind; alcohol warms as you get into it; as it warms, spiced tea and some definite sugar; nutmeg lingers and in fact might be the overpowering note

F: solid all around, so much so that the feel helps the overall presentation appreciably

O: different and not bad, but it all seems a bit tamed down ... very dry and bland at times though it gets a bit of holiday feel (sugar, spice, nutmeg) as it warms -- and as my palate adjusted to the notes over the four-pack

a good once-through brew but overall not overwhelmingly good enough to make me want to buy more. if you like a dry quaff, though, this might hit the spot. (1,250 characters)

Photo of JustinAniello
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear orange with a half finger of head. Dissipates to a light cap and sticky lacing.

S - Mostly brown sugar and malt, slightly sweet. No pumpkin or spice at all though.

T - The brown sugar and malt from the aroma are heavy at first. The pumpkin and spice show through on the swallow, very mild. The light astringency of the pumpkin goes well with the bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body and carbonation, just how I like a pumpkin ale.

O - A smooth beer, but overall rather minimal in what it is offering. Although subdued pumpkins beer are good every now and again (I am a bigger fan of the spicy pie-like styles) this one takes it to the extreme. Good for someone not huge on pumpkin ale, but too light for my taste. (742 characters)

Photo of Bernoulli
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber with minimal head (ring around the side of the glass).

Understated pumpkin flavor and minimal beer flavor with little staying power. (You get some on the first drink and if you hold it in your mouth). Slight taste of alcohol and some carbonation for the mouth feel.

Can't imagine someone disliking it... but can't see someone having it as their first choice. (379 characters)

Photo of Dave128
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively from a 12 oz bottle into a frosty pint glass. Probably a bit of a mistake since this beer will need to warm up to taste good.

A - Crystal clear amber in color. Head wasn't pronounced on the pour and only a ring remains around the top of the glass. Lacing is pretty low as well.

S - Spices and lots of amber malt - Not too heavy on the pumpkin

T - Complexity is the best part about this beer. It's not particularly pumpkin or spice heavy. You can get a host of different flavors by just swirling it around in your mouth a little bit. At first taste it's nothing special, but it is definitely growing on me (particularly as it warms)

M - A little overcarbonated for the alcohol content and flavors, but suffices

O - A fantastic big fall beer. It's not really the best if you are looking for a heavy pumpkin ale experience. The flavors are subtle but very good. Spices stand out on their own without muddying the entire experience (952 characters)

Photo of JJStout83
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice copper (almost like tea) with an effervescent, quickly dissipating head that settles into a perfect little ring around the glass.

S: Pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove - DUH!), mild esters, brown sugar

T: Nutty, a little creamy, earthy nutmeg and cinnamon, some alcohol (rum), caramel & allspice

M: Lively/tingly on the attack. Settles into rummy esters with caramel & pumpkin pie spices. It warms the back of the tongue and throat on the back end.

Overall this is an awesome pumpkin brew. I enjoy how playful this beer is. I get nostalgic for mom's kitchen because it could almost be pumpkin pie in a glass. Huge props to Dogfish Head for their seasonal heavy hitter. You cannot argue with a beer that can invoke childhood memories. I enjoyed this one from start to finish. (803 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can't believe there's already no bottles left in my distro of this. Oh well, at least I gathered up a few bottles for the season before they all disappeared. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. I do wish the bottling date was a little clearer, but I'd assume the bottle I had was no older than 3 months.

Pours a classic deep amber DFH color (you know, the one that resembles maple syrup) with some strong orange tinges that I'm hoping is from the pumpkin added to the beer. Contains a bone white head that covers the top of the glass, leaving behind minimal lacing overall. Given the beer's relatively high ABV, this swirls around in a slightly viscous manner, but otherwise it's pretty unassuming as far as pumpkin beers go. I'd never guess there was anything unusual in this by merely looking at it.

Hello, holidays! This is a pumpkin ale, all right - less of that sugary, sweetened pumpkin pie-like beers and far more towards maintaining the vegetal essence of the beer backed with spices. Predominant notes of pumpkin rinds, squash, zucchini, and orange peel meld with spices consisting of nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and slight pepper and vanilla. Definitely a sharp sweetness from the booze and spices at the finish, but the vegetal character of the beer is very refreshing and delightful in many ways. There's a bit of a caramel, husky sensation that appears at the end, but for some reason so many DFH beers I've had have always provided that flavor. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the fresh pumpkin flavor here overall.

The flavor is nearly on par with the aroma, except that it displays a little bit more fruitiness as well as syrupy sweetness that becomes more present in the finish. At first, there's obvious vegetal notes of toasted pumpkin and squash, which then meld with the brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg flavors right at the finish. Orange peel, grapefruit, and pine seem to come in, but the spices are definitely overpowering. The caramel finishes everything off from the grains, but while it works, the aforementioned husky flavor from the grains is still a bit pervasive. Ends a little bit syrupy, with notes of slightly burnt brown sugar, but otherwise this is actually a pretty solid pumpkin beer offering. Feels great, although I do think the spices did some strange things, texture-wise, to the grains at hand. Oh well - I'd imagine pumpkin beers are harder to brew than we take for granted.

Another nice seasonal offering from DFH - from all of the pumpkin beers I've had so far during the holidays, this one is very welcome in my fridge and would work very well with food - especially what people tend to eat during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Vegetal, spicy, and slightly sweet, this is more the direction that I like these kinds of beers to head towards. Recommended for those wanting to try a good quality, mass marketed pumpkin ale. (2,906 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky deep amber, little head, thin rim with fine bubbles, scant surface foam, pronounced but ephemeral lacing.
S: thin nose, hint of spice/clove
T: clean, with a hoppy, slightly cinnamon, slightly pumpkin malty mix. Well-balanced.
M:Medium body, thin but foamy, creamy
O: Very drinkable, not overpowering, you can enjoy an imperial pint or two with being sated, although you might want a palate-cleanser, even water, alongside. (431 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass
A: Pumpkin-orange with a white 1+ finger head
S: Pumpkin with lots of warming spices, a bit of malt underneath
T: Matches the nose perfectly
M: Medium-bodied, a bit of a kick from the spice
O: Solid pumpkin beer (251 characters)

Photo of BrandonN24
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a very nice beer. I would much more consider this a great harvest ale over a pumpkin. It has almost no pumpkin notes but a lot of nutmeg. I enjoyed it personally but the pumking by southern tier was definitely a better pumpkin.

It is definitely worth a try if you enjoy harvest beers, but if you are looking for a lot of pumpkin flavors then this may not be for you. (375 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
2.42/5  rDev -38.1%
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. (1,245 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 AnotherBeerGeek
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A nice medium coppery color with visible carbonation and a brief ivory foam.

S - Nose greets with unmistakable spiciness of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon over hints of banana and apricot.

T - Modestly sweet malts with more of the same spice tones, just enough of a hop profile to keep it balanced.

M - Decently smooth texture with a hint of flabbiness around the edges.

O - Not a bad rendition of this specialty style, definitely worth a try. (448 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty fast dissipating head on a amber colored body. This beer really does smell like the holidays. Malty smell followed by spices and pumpkin pie. The taste is the same. Rich and deep malt flavor with with a nice alcohol middle and a spicy sweet finish. Great beer for the holiday season. (290 characters)

Photo of Illmaticzx
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- clear dark pinkish/ orange tint, one finger head dissapates fairly quick

S - sweet, spices, brown sugar, hint of pumkin

T- brown sugar, all spice, pumpkin, subdued hops, really nice sweet after taste that lingers pleasantly, alcohol blends nicely, nicely balanced flavors overall

M- creamy, moderate carbonation, medium body, very much an ale

O- My first pumpkin beer that I enjoyed, i like how balanced and easy drinking it is, loved the smooth sweet after taste, thought it could use a bit more pumpkin flavors in the forfront. If there are other pumpkin beers as good or better I may need to give more pumkin beers a chance. (634 characters)

Photo of JMad
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very clear, dark golden color with a thick fluffy white head.

The smell consists mainly of nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel and pumpkin.

It has a nice flavor, some roasted malt with pie crust followed by more nutmeg and pumpkin.

The body is perfect, it's nice and crisp with the perfect amount of carbonation and a nice mmmmph on the finish to let you know it has a powerful abv.

This is definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I have ever tasted. (458 characters)

Photo of MotorboatMofo
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- amber with white head. Good carbonation

S- Balanced smell of pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Can't really smell too much pumpkin

T- Full bodied flavor. Don't really taste too much pumpkin. But it's there!

M- Great tasting beer. Nothing overwhelms this beer.

O- Well balanced beer. Perfect for the season. I would drink couple of these throughout the day during the holidays. I would buy this again. Great holiday beer. (428 characters)

Photo of nycbeerfreak
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Orangish golden color and slightly cloudy. Minimal and slightly creamy head that doesn't last long... and thats ok ...its a pumpkin beer ..not a IPA

S- Roasted pumpkin, gingerbread, cinnamon, a little hoppy

T- Pumpkin has the staying power and is most evident in latter stages of each sip. there is a tinge of bitterness, and tastes of ginger, all spice and a bit of cinnamon

M- Creamy, pleasant, flavor spreads nicely across palate

D- Very nice, a great fall brew, alcohol does not say 7% to this guy !! (514 characters)

Photo of rievelx6
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Has an orangish amber color to it with white head

S- Good blend of pumpkin and some spices

T- At first I get the spices with some malt then at the end i get the pumpkin

M- Good carbonation with slit bite

O- Overall this is a very good pumpkin ale good taste for the season (279 characters)

Photo of patpbr
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Orange and copper color with a small amount of head that disappeared quickly.
S - Spices. Pumpkin, Nutmeg
T - Pumpkin, spice, nutmeg, cinnamon. Malts. Its all adds a little.
M - Medium body and moderate carbonation a little bit of bite
O - I have been noticing many Pumpkin ales, It was good enough to try more. (318 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Punkin is a quality pumpkin ale. It is not the strongest or the most spice/pumpkin forward, but rather a mild, easy drinking pumpkin flavored brown ale. It is a crystal clear light brown ale with some nice malty brown ale notes dominating the nose. There is a pleasant pumpkin and spice nose present but does not dominate the aroma. This holds true in the flavor as well, nice pumpkin flavor, but not overwhelming. Overall, Punkin is a soft, easy drinking brown ale with some pleasant pumpkin qualities. (503 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on code stamped on the bottleneck, 2013 vintage. I haven't had this beer since last year's release, but I remember liking it and I'm excited to have it again.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours one finger of good creamy frothy off-white head on top of a dark coppery orange colored body with some nice clarity and lots of bubbles lazily floating topside.

S - Smell comprises much of the usual for the style: cola, cinnamon, allspice. I can even smell a hint of the buttery popcorn smell that appeared in Southern Tier Pumking, presumably from the authentic gourdy pumpkin.

T - Taste follows the nose: crisp cola, brown sugar, cinnamon, hint of allspice, hint of buttery popcorn grains, and just a slight bit of alcohol heat on the finish.

M - Feel is smooth and clean. Just a hint of sticky brown sugar / cola in the aftertaste. Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation.

Overall, definitely a worthwhile pumpkin beer, and one I will continue to look forward to yearly. Good drinkability, and the moderately high alcohol for a pumpkin beer is hardly noticeable. Recommended.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ---4/5. (1,162 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Lil Roberts Place - Bottled on B 2013F 00:50?

a - Pours a partially cloudy amber orange, with some brown overtones. One finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S- Pumpkin, nutmeg.

T - More pumpkin, a tinge (check) of sugar. Gingerbread.

M - Seems crisp, but full. Carbonation seems low, then spikes and gets prickly mid swig before fading quickly.

O - Decent brew. You can tell it was brewed with "real pumpkin". Nothing attention grabbing, like some other pumpkins I have had recently, just a simple well done pumpkin ale. (556 characters)

Photo of Ac2013
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chilled pint glass from the bottle. Nice head with minimal retention and sparse lacing. Good, dark amber color.

Initial notes of cinnamon and malt. Smelled and tasted like a great pumpkin ale, but the more I continued to drink, it lost its initial greatness. I tend to prefer a darker, sweeter pumpkin ale, so this beer is a little light for me.

Still, very solid beer and especially for a pumpkin ale. Will buy again if no other new offerings for fall are around. (481 characters)

Photo of BeerMeJohnnyHopkins
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a very solid pumpkin ale. I don't think it's my favorite, but I'd never be disappointed with a Dogfish Head Punkin. Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pilsner glass.

A- Comes out dark copper with a medium size head that diminishes pretty quickly.

S- The spices don't come out quite as much as some other pumpkins, but obviously it is more distinctive than your typical beer. The malt and sugar take the front seat here.

T- Very smooth, with just the right amount of carbonation, and not so much alcohol that you can taste the 7%. Once again, mostly malt and sugar, and not much in the way of hops. Not overpowering with the pumpkin, which is in my opinion the hardest part of making a pumpkin ale.

M- Nothing particularly special is going on with this beer. Lower carbonation gives it a smooth feel going down. It's particularly dry and the spices stick out, but it's all pleasant.

O- I'm a huge fan of pumpkin ales when they're done right, and DFH has done a superb job on this one. I've had a few others that have a nicer balance and bring out the pumpkin flavor more gracefully, but it remains a seasonal favorite every fall. (1,147 characters)

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