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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,993 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,993
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: 1,993 | Hads: 6,007
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

small lacey head, orangey. Spicey cinammon, spicey,allspice, nutmeg, some maltness spice chest, chia tea with some hop bitterness. Drying, very vegatable taste. No expiry date. Gourdy taste. This tastes like a beer rather a fruity sweety cooler.Medium to full mouthfeel. (270 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to a fizzy soda like cap. No lacing was present.

S - Smells of sweet bread dough, tangy fruits, and pumpkin pie spices.

T - Bitter/spice taste to start out with a malty aftertaste.

M - Decent carbonation gives a bubbly coating feeling in the mouth.

D - Solid niche beer. I am glad I tried this beer and I would probably get it again in the fall but it wasn't something I would drink a lot of. Definitely one of the best pumpkin ales though... (511 characters)

Photo of acurtis
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Punkin bottle
Appearance: Copper color with small head, very little lacing.
Aroma: Nutmeg, cinnamon more spices and of course Pumpkin.
Taste: Nice balance of spices, no one spice is too dominate. Good pumpkin flavor. Smooth and not too heavy, medium carbonation. Very drinkable, goes down more like a 5 or 6%. (309 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger head. Nice lace. Clear amber with crimson hues.

S: very nice pumpkin pie and spice aroma.

T: lots of dull pumpkin taste with brown sugar notes.

M: medium body. Moderate to high carbonate.

Overall: this is exactly how I want my pumpkin ales to taste. One of the best. (287 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured amber in color with just a few bubbles floating on the surface and a light amount of carbonation.
S: There's a moderate aroma of pumpkin, spices and sweetness in the aroma that comes very close to resembling pumpkin pie.
T: The taste has a good balance between sweetness and spices; the flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar and the spices really stand out.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and silky smooth.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely try this again because the taste is rather interesting and complex for the style. (560 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with some lighter highlights. Good lacing.

S: Lots of pumpkin flavor along with all the accompanying spices. The brown sugar is a really nice tough.

T: Like the smell, this one is all pumpkin pie, and the sweetness added by the brown sugar is just incredible. The spicing is absolutely perfect. By far the best-tasting pumpkin beer I've ever had.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium body.

D: Everything gets to be a little much to have more than one, but this is a damn fine brew. (495 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this isnt as good as people say it is. it pours an orangish glowing brown color with a minimal tan bubbly head. the nose is very sweet, definitely brown sugar or molasses, nutmeg, and either some clove or some allspice. the flavor is overly spiced and overly sweet i think, it doesnt let the pumpkin shine at all. its heavy sweet up front and heavy spice in the back, and i never really get to the vegetable. in any event, its more of an after dinner drink for me than an all day beer, which is too bad because its football season now and i need an all day beer. the feel is okay, too sugary, but the body is nice and full and the carbonation is fine. if it wasnt for the sweetness itd be more sessionable. overall not my favorite pumpkin beer, and probably not worth the hype, ive got several others waiting in the fridge to compare this to... (844 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy Punkin color with a decent enough head that leaves some dots and strands of lacing on the glass

Smell: Pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice and cinnamon aroma

Taste: Pumpkin bread flavor up front that is quickly joined by the allspice peppery tones; mid-palate, the bitter hops kick in; after the swallow, the brown sugar becomes more apparent and provides a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate, but prickly carbonation; smooth finish which hides the alcohol well

Drinkability: I have been critical of this beer in the past, and had an awful experience with it on draft earlier this year, but this year's bottled version has won me over; the fusel alcohol problem is gone and it has a nice flavor profile (746 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably my second favorite Pumpkin Ale that I've had. It had been first until I tried the Southern Tier Pumking. However, this ale poured out as a nice looking copper color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer has a pretty good spicy aroma to it with some malt in there too. The taste of the beer is pretty impressive compared to a lot of other pumpkin ales out there. The taste of pumpkin and spice really blend nicely together. The mouthfeel has a good solid body to it with a good amount of carbonation in there. Overall it's one of my favorite seasonals for sure. I look forward to the release every year. I normally pick up a 4 pack when I see it. (678 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. They put a lot of stuff in it to legitimize it per style. Looks creamy and carbonated coper to orange. Loosely knit carbonation that may fade, yet laces nicely. Smelly sweet fruity and malty albeit ordinary. Spiciness and sharpness give character. Tastes moderately sweet, yet gives extra complexity with allspice, cinnemon, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, and body building malts. Spices give a lot of complexity, yes still conveys hop balance and alcoholic warming through the body. Finishes a dry and harsh in the alcohol--fusal. Utimately a pumpkin flavored beer worth drinking. Dogfish Head is simply incapable of brewing a bad beer. (635 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Brilliantly clear pumpkin-amber in color. An inch and a half of off-white colored head rises, lasting a few minutes before eventually receding to a ring.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice, with nutmeg especially standing out. There's a bit of squash-like aroma, but I wouldn't necessarily identify it as pumpkin. Beyond the spice, there's actually not much.

Taste & mouthfeel: Caramel sweetness, pumpkin and a motherload of spices. It tastes like someone knocked the spice rack into the brewing kettle. I do enjoy pumpkin pie, so this is fairly enjoyable stuff, but they went a bit far here. A medium body and moderate carbonation make this easy enough to drink, but the spices add a slight astringency to the finish that I could do without. A good brew all the same, probably one of the better pumpkin beers I've tried.

Notes: Not bad, but becomes a chore to drink after a while due to the excessive spicing. (915 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even though the fallish version of October abruptly ended yesterday around here, I've still got some autumn ales to get through...

This beer pours a clear medium amber hue, with one finger of soapy pale beige head, which produces a slouching ring of lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of cinnamon, demarara sugar, ginger, leafy hops, and a bit of alcohol. The taste is spicy caramel malt, cinnamon, clove, and ginger (natch) most prevalent, tempered quite well, if not overly so, by the earthy, boozy, herbal hops. The carbonation is average, the body medium weight, smooth, and kind of warm. It finishes a bit off-dry, crisp, and with some more alcohol edge.

A nice, spicy, hearty fall ale, with a just a bit too much octane to make it a serious imbibing contender. (783 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a high clarity orangey caramel. Not much of a head, more like a bare skim of bubbles. Clear whiff of nutmeg and cinnamon in the nose.

Toasty amber malt, caramel, nutmeg and other spices. Mild level of acidity, but fairly average lager feel. Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Not overly sweet, one or two would be my limit due to the spice. One of the better pumpkin ales that's more widely available. (422 characters)

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

Generously bubbled pumpkin orange capped by a pastel orange, whipped creamy head that is a perfect color match for the beer that created it. The three finger cap has a considerable amount of patience, but doesn't look sticky enough to grab and hold onto the glass. A lack of lace is a minor disappointment that doesn't spoil a very nice pumpkin beer look.

The nose is as expected: baked pumpkin flesh and pumpkin pie spices. Perhaps I should go along with Dogfish Head and start writing punkin'. I've smelled pumpkinier versions and I've smelled spicier versions, but this one can hold its own against all but the most aromatic. Amazingly enough, even at a relatively high pumpkin ale ABV of 7%, there's no alcohol evident in the nose.

This is lovely stuff, even if the alcohol is now easily appreciated. This is definitely a different sort of pumpkin ale, a stronger version of the usual gourd beer. It's sweet and malty with a generous amount of caramel flavor. The spices aren't as up-front on the palate. The label indicates that allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were used. They're all identifiable, with none dominating the others.

If I was in charge at the brewery, I'd knock the ABV back a full 2% (or try harder to mask it) and would add more brown sugar and spice. It's their beer, though, so I guess I'll have to take it or leave it. Um... I'll take it. This really is a quality fall seasonal.

The decision to build a sturdier pumpkin ale pays dividends when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's a few notches more full than medium and is as smooth as heavy silk. Too many bubbles on the initial pour become just the right amount before very long at all.

Punkin' Ale is one of the better versions that I've run across. It doesn't seriously challenge my clear favorite (Smuttynose Pumpkin), but it's definitely worthwhile and is deliciously different. If you have any interest in the style whatsoever, I suggest you get Punk'd as soon as possible. (1,963 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with a small, white, foamy head that left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Really a lot of pumpkin aroma.

T - It tasted of pumpkin, lots of nutmeg and a subtle borwn sugar sweetness mixed with some caramel malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is one of the best pumpkin ales that I've had. Great flavors.

T - (450 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one I cannot believe that I have not tried before. This one was just right up my alley and exactly what I was looking for to start out my evening. Poured into a pint glass and served right out of the fridge, it was consumed on 10/08/2009.
 
The pour was about what I would have expected with a light brown color, hazy with an orange tint to it. Nice light head creeps up on the top an settled down nearly perfectly with nice lacing down the sides of the glass and a good bit of carbonation peaking up from the bottom. Aroma is spice, pumpkin and cinnamon, hints of brown sugar and a nice light touch of herbal hops that gave it just the right amount of balance. Smooth and very even flavor here. Rich cinnamon and all spice lead the way here, like a nice slice of pumpkin pie, but with a kick. Even carbonation is nicely placed and a well crafted seasonal is what we get. Lightly dry finish leaves you looking for a little more as the light brown sugar notes really start to show as it warms up.
 
Overall very solid. I am surprised I had not run into this earlier and while it was very good, I almost wish it was just a little bit more upfront. Very solid and super drinkable, just needs a little extra kick for me to put it in the awesome range. (1,261 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say this one is the best pumpkin ale I have had a real nice brew.Pours a burnt orange color with a real nice creamy 1/2 inch head that leaves some nice lacing,aroma is of some serious nutmeg and cardimum with light cinnamon notes.Taste hits with a real pumpkin flavor with the sices hitting after the initial pumpkin flavor so you get the whole spectrum of flavors.A great all around beer definently with the weather changing right now.Very nice,had at Tavern 616 in North Wales,PA. (492 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I poured the bottle picked up from Hi-Time into my Russian River pint glass. It poured a clear, light brown color with a two finger off-white foam.

S: Not that much going on in the nose. I primarily pick up a yeasty and doughy aroma with some notes of spice.

T: The taste is much better than the nose, and for this, I am grateful. Nice notes of cinnamon and all-spice, and a solid pumpkin flavor. Not as sweet as many other pumpkin beers (ie. Pumking).

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. The carbonation helps to keep things a little bit lighter.

D: I've been wanting to try this one out as I figured if anyone could do a good pumpkin beer, it would be DFH. It's definitely a solid offering, and one of the better pumpkin beers I've had. (753 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper body topped by a small off-white head with moderate lacing.

Smell: The aroma is plenty spicy, with gobs of nutmeg and allspice present. As for the pumpkin aromawise, it's a no-show.

Taste: Light toffee sweetness upfront with a fair amount of nutmeg and especially cinnamon, which provides a nice spicy bitterness. Where have all the pumpkins gone?

This is a pumpkin ale, if I remember correctly. Sadly, you hardly get a true sense of any pumpkin in this brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with an ample carbonation that comes across as fizzy. Too fizzy, really.

Drinkability: The pumpkin flavor was subtle to the point of being absent. Sure, there's plenty of spices, but the missing pumpkin flavor was a disappointment, and made for an uninteresting beer. I guess $8.99 doesn't get you much pumpkin these days. (856 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of off white foam that settles quickly but leaves sticky lace. The body is copper-orange with just a bit of haze.

S - Strong, spicy, phenolic aroma with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. There is a spicy yeast note in the background that supports the spices nicely.

T - Lots of malt with toasted notes and a bit of toffee. The spices come in the middle mostly cinnamon and clove along with a bit of meatiness, presumably from the pumpkin. The finish is malty and smooth with a bit of yeast spice.

M - Medium body, medium high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish. Slight astringency in the finish.

D - As pumpkin beers go, this is certainly one of the best. Not surprisingly, the aroma is the strong point; the yeast and spices compliment each other nicely. The spices aren't overwhelming, but they don't let you forget what you are drinking. The astringency in the finish is unfortunate, but overall this is a fairly well balanced beer. Still, it is kind of difficult for a pumpkin beer to be very drinkable; I only need one of these. (1,058 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

Finally reviewing this stuff during, like, my twelfth tasting of it. Geez... It pours a clear tawny-amber topped by a half-finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel. Save the light spicing, there ain't too much pumpkin (pie or otherwise) character going on here so far. The taste holds notes of mandarin orange syrup, cinnamon, green apple skin, brown sugar, nutmeg, and a very light bit of toasted rye bread. The pumpkin character is still pretty nonexistent, but at least the combination tastes good. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, a more-than-decent brew, but not exactly the most pumpkin-y thing out there. Generally enjoyable, though... (810 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange/amber with a smallish white that quickly dissipated, leaving a small ring that left a little lacing on each sip. Aroma is very spicey. Almost too spicey as the pumpkin aroma is subtle but it's still there.

Taste is once again frontloaded with spices and sweetness. Much like the aroma, the pumpkin taste gets overloaded and seems barely detectable on some sips. Light hoppiness and more than I care for hotness (especially as it warms) in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and seems fairly thick for a Pumpkin Ale.

The Punkin' Ale seems to be one of those beers that I try and try with each year to love and it just never happens. Just way too over spiced with not enough pumpkin and a unnecessaryly high 7% ABV make this a one time a fall beer for me. If they want to keep the high ABV, they should make this an Imperial style and ramp up the flavor too. (918 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper in color with an off-white head that holds well and leaves some good lace. The aroma is quite bold with nutmeg and what I perceive to be All-spice. The body is light-medium with a standard carbonation and a lightly zesty mouthfeel. The flavor shows the unique Dogfish Head character and starts with a good blending of sweet malt & spice, reveals a myriad of spice flavor as it crosses the palate, and finishes with a dry and peppery spiciness that lingers briefly. Bitterness is present, but plays a supporting role to the spice which acts as the main balancing agent (and dominant flavor). The spices are fresh and flavorful - much more so than the generic spicing usually found in pumpkin beers - and the beer has a very distinct character of its own which usually cannot be said of spiced beers. Very nice, and well worth trying. (844 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another day another destructed pumpkin beer and and tastebuds feeling for mercy. Time to review DFH Punkin. I really enjoy most DFH beers and until now have not found one I didn't at least like somewhat. So that brings me to here, face to face with my mortal enemy, a pumpkin beer, but this being made by one of my favorite breweries. Poured it into my DFH oversized snifter cause the most important thing is to nose more of the spices... wait, just kidding!!

A: Brilliantly clear golden brown with some reddish color that leads a murky head that starts decent but fades to a sweing light froth on the top.

N: No way, is that... spiced pumpkin? Yep, it sure is. Lots of toastiness though and gives me a ST Pumpking flash back. Hopefully this one weighs up to the pumpkin pie beer of all. There's a slight sweetness but the more aromas I inhale the more spices, cinammon, nutmeg, perhaps allspice... oh yeah, it mentions all three spices right on the label, oh snap! It's also got some crisp lager/marzen aromas that give me the chills thinking about drinking this on a dark windy and cool October night.

T: Here goes nuthin, Taste starts pretty sweet like brown sugar, lots of pumpkin taste but not spiced pumpkin, the spices have been dulled down quite a bit, and the toastiness gives it a pumpkin pie taste. With the sweetness I'm almost getting the feeling of opening a can of pumpkin pie filling and just going to town on it with a spoon and snifter glass. Its got more of those clear and crisp well done lager/marzen refreshing tastes. Its also got some yeasty and fruity lager flavors.

M: Mouth is pretty smooth and slightly carbonated, could use more carbonation.

F: It gives me a little more sweet caramelized brown sugar and more pumpkin on the taste. It finishes pretty clean like a lager and the sweetness fades pretty quickly, but leaves a strange savory taste that makes my mouth smack on its own. A slight taosty and earthy charred flavors adds a slight interesting flavor.

Final thoughts: This beers is actaully a little surpising. The nose is really spiced, but the flavors has sweet brown sugar, pumpkin, very light on the spice, and not really and bad or off flavors. Good for DFH again!Its got great drinkability and very refreshing. (2,261 characters)

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,993 ratings.