Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,069 Reviews
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Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,069 | Ratings: 6,394
Photo of DrDemento456
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber with a decent haze yet hardly any head to speak of. Mild lacing still proves it's a craft brew.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, and pumpkin all spice. Pretty solid.

T - I remember this ale last year being an ale of amber with spice but now I see it's still pretty true. Slightly bitter almost too much English amber malt that leads to a slight sweetness of cinnamon and pumpkin all-spice but leads more bitter malt. Ehh it's ok for a pumpkin ale but I was told this years version was the best...

M - Overall medium to light bodied with full flavor.

D - Well I still don't like it. I wanted too but it still uses too much bitter English malt that makes it too overbearing to produce the spice I need to really enjoy a pumpkin beer. Still very solid but I will look elsewhere for a good pumpkin beer,

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Photo of Viggo
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, virtually no head, and no lace. Smell is nutmeg, sweet rich malt, some pumpkin, rich malt, some cinnamon. Taste is sweet malt, lots of spice, little bit of pumpkin and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, medium carbonation, warming. Not bad but disappointing.

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

Not surprisingly, a hazed glowing orange appearance. Slight beige head with good retention. Lace is droopy and fairly abundant. This one's got a really nice pumpkin pulp aroma with hardly any spicing noticed on the nose...which is good. A little cinnamon. The mouthfeel has a pleasant feel with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Body seems to be about medium full. The flavors are primarily sweet. Pumpkin pulp, sweet molasses, carmelized sugar. Good stuff. And the spicing is subdued, but nice. Again, the cinnamon comes to the forefront.

This is really a pretty good pumpkin ale, even in April.

I thank Mr. Cokes for the sample.

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

12oz bottle poured into my HotD Tulip.

Bottle 7.28.09

Appearance - Dark Orange with a lively tan head.

Smell - Pumpkin, spice, cinnamin.

Taste - Spices - Cinnamin, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin.

Drinkability - Verk drinkable. It makes me wish it was Fall.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always wary of Dogfish head, sometimes they like being weird for the sake of being weird, and charging you a pretty penny for it. This is not one of those beers.

Pours like nothing special, wouldn't know this was a pumpkin beer by looking at it. Aromas are delic, a hybrid of pumpkin pie and low alpha acid hops. Taste, one of the better (if not the best) pumpkin ales out there. No progression though, and you probably don't want to drink more than 1 of these per sitting, kind of a desert type beer, but not too sweet.

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Photo of Brad007
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with minimal head if at all. Aroma is very strong and pumpkin-like upfront. The spice shows very well. The taste is much of the same except I detect sweetness, brown sugar, pumpkin and a nice aftertaste. A second sip confirms just how malty this beer is. It seems well-balanced when compared to the pumpkin ale I had before it. I'd definitely recommend it over the other example of this style I had.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, spicy aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar, and malt.

T: Tasted of pumpkin, malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Spicy, but not in an obvious way. Well-rounded.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Another well made, drinkable beer from Dogfish Head

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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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Clear orange color with white head. Head dissipated into yeasty islands on the top, very appetizing looking.

Aroma was pumpkin pie, just about right for this beer in my opinion. It could have been a little stronger, but no real problems.

The flavor was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and malt. It was good but could have been stronger (again).

Not bad, and I'll drink it again. But so far my top prize for this style of beer stays with Weyerbacher.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

One of the first pumpkin beers ive had years ago when maybe 5-6 made there way to bars...

Haxy orangey copper in color, i like the tea reference made by another reviewer below, so im gonna steal it, minimal head and ok lacing. Smell is of faint pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinamon) with some vanilla and malty biscuit scents. The taste is a rather mild blend of biscuity malts, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla. Slight pumpkin flavor on the tail. Lighter bodied, slightly high in carbonation, still manages to be slightly creamy. Mild flavor, but unique in its combination.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a very nice completely clear orange color with a light layer of bubbles on top. The head dissipates quickly into a thin ring around the glass. The lacing is there, but disappears as quickly as the initial head.

Smells good. Lots of spices, from what I can tell there's some nutmeg and cinnamon. Real crisp and nice like.

Tastes great. There's a solid bready malt taste up front shortly followed by the spices. Just like the smell there are nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Very nice, nothing is out of place.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is what's expected. It goes down easily.

Drinkability for this beer is very good. This goes down so easily, and there's not a hint of the 7% ABV to be found. I could drink a ton of these.

Overall I was very happy with this beer. I was hesitant to spend as much as it cost on a 4-pack when so many other pumpkin ales were out there, but I'm glad I did. Be sure to give this one a try.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at a local pub, served in a pint

Appears a burnt orange color with a tight, foamy one finger light tan head. Good retention but only a smattering of lace here and there.

Cinnamon and allspice dominate the pumpkin, nutmeg and sweet malts. A pretty solid nose though. Not overly sweet.

The sweet malts come to the forefront more on the taste. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and pumpkin all have their place in equal parts. Very nicely balanced.

Medium to full-bodied. Thick and creamy. Adequate carbonation.

With all of the spices in this one, I would have to limit myself to one or two of these. While they are a nice offering, the spices would get to me after a while.

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Photo of mltobin
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a 4-pack of this at Nutmeg Discount in Bethel, CT.

The appearance is a cloudy amber color with a 1 finger head.
Smell consists of brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, very nice.
Taste has notes of malt, bread, pumpkin and is a bit sweet.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with spice and finishes with those 2 dominant components lingering on my palate. Drinkability is good, but the sweetness will keep you from drinking this quicker than it should be. After all, this is a nice dessert beer, so relax while enjoying yet another great beer from Dogfish Head.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-ish gold with a low filmy beige head, lots of floaters, and low carbonation. Nutmeg and allspice aroma (a bit sharp) with some pumpkin underneath. Sharp biting spice flavor dominates with a bit of pumpkin-ish malt. Medium bodied and smooth with a drying spice finish.

Decent Pumpkin Ale but not quite worth the price in my wallet.

Per label: "Full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg"

Per DHCB website: same as label sans allspice... hmm?
24 IBU, approx. 224 calories, 22 carbs

'5215' lasered on bottle bottom
Tasted: 10/27/05

($7.99 / 4-pack)

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Photo of Gusler
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The departure from the 12 ounce bottle produces a clear copper color with a stupendous off white creamy head that last longer than the energizer bunny, lacing is a solid sheet, which circumnavigates the glass. Nose is sweet with Pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and ginger and a touch of vanilla, quite a treat for the old schnozzle. Start has a nice pumpkin and malt sweetness, light bitterness at the back, top is light to medium in feel. Finish continues the sweet malt and spicy taste, the acidity plausible, aftertaste sweet and tart, a fine beer.

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Photo of drpimento
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a milder pumpkin beer. Very nicely done; plenty of character and balance with a deft touch. Poured with a nice off-white head and good lace. Medium amber color. Malty and spicy aroma, but not over done. Ditto the flavor. Body is good too, with good carbonation. Finish is nice and as it should be for this style. Very satisfying. Not a session beer.

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Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, clear, orange-brown

Smell:like a pumpkin pie, allspice, cinnamon and cloves jump out

Taste: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, malt, sugar, and hops

Mouthfeel: starts sweet and sugary then a hoppy finish. medium body

Drinkability: This is very much like a pumpkin pie. I love how you get the sweet first, then the hops...sort of like eating the filling, then the different taste for the crust. This one definately has a beer feel to it. That said I do not think I could drink more than two in one sitting.

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

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: orangish brown with 2 finger head

Smell: spicy, sweet malts, pumpkin

Taste: pumpkin spices

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, crisp do to spices used

Drinkability: one of the better pumpkin beers in the market.


The cpj

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a becker. Poured a brilliant translucent copper with a 1.5 inch frothy white head; good retention. Some watery lacing, but weak legs. Nose presents with cinnamon and nutmeg on a malty backbone. Pumpkin flavors revealed in the taste. Essentially, this brew is pumpkin pie in a bottle; enough said. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. Some carbonation present, but a pleasant creaminess comes forth in the middle. Good drinkability for the style. Flavors are not overbearing, but not a beer you would want to drink more than one or two of in a sittng.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

finally found these things in Madison, although I hadnt been the to the beer store in a week and a half so they may have been here since then

appearance: much darker than most of the other pumpkin beers I have had this season...pours a rich dark orange color with minimal head/lacing, pretty clear

smell: not overpowering, mild pumpkin, typical spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar) noted in the nose

taste: pumpkin seed, nice pumpkin pie taste, alcohol definately present in that DFH way, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar balance out the pumpkin quite well, which is usually the downfall of most pumpkin beers

mouthfeel: medium bodied (as opposed to the very light bodied new holland and ofallon), slight alcohol tingle

drinkability: good enough to drink a few, but for the price (8.99 a 4) they need to be spread out

all in all, above average pumpkin brew....had been wanting to try this for a while so I was excited to find it

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
7% ABV, Bottled in 2012 printed in yellow on neck.

A - Dogfish Head's Punkin pours a crystal clear pumpkin orange color with amber low-lights and candle glow yellow high-lights. Brilliant! A solid off-white head that's dense and creamy like whipped topping is produced from a somewhat vigorous pour but it doesn't have the greatest retention. Thin lace traces outlines of a mountain range on the tulip.

S - Punkin Ale's upfront malty nose consists of sweet caramel and light toast notes with a real pumpkin aroma and a good, moderate level of spicing Dashes of allspice and nutmeg are prevalent while a sprinkle of cinnamon remains largely overshadowed. Gooey brown sugar sweetness steps in before this beer concludes with a crisp grassy hop aroma that delicately balances the pumpkin beer to keep it, well, a beer.

T - This might be one of the more balanced, subtle beers Dogfish Head produces. Punkin keeps the pumpkin real with traces of the roasted gourd among the spicing which slowly builds in presence as the beer is consumed. The brown ale base blends almost perfectly with the allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon and the caramel and toasted malt notes work in tandem with lingering brown sugar sweetness. Once again, the beer is kept a beer with a great finish of soft earthy hops that lingers with traces of spiciness.

M - Creamy and smooth like a piece of pumpkin pie, Punkin's slightly higher carbonation gives the beer a generous crispness that, with the dry hopiness and spice finish, works to keep the sweetness at bay nicely. Thin alcohol is miniscule on the back end adding just a slight, passing warmth which works wonders on the colder fall days.

O - Completely cohesive from start to finish, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale manages to, almost effortlessly, take a nice and malty brown ale with gentle hoppy earth tones, a perfect beer for the season, and integrate real pumpkin and spice all while maintaining the bottom line; it's still a beer. I personally prefer my pumpkin ales a little more pumpkin-rich, but this beer is absolutely outstanding and warrants a try from anyone who's not yet enjoyed it.

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Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color. A two finger off white head forms and leaves some nice rings of lace behind.
S: Peppery spice and yeast in the nose. Pumpkin spice. Bread and biscuit.
T: Pumpkin pie, just like I expected. Some good spice, that does not overpower. Very malty. Some caramel and bread/biscuit flavors. I like this.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation end. Not watery at all though. Creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink for a high alcohol beer and heavily spiced to boot. I will have no problems putting a few back while watching college football.

This is a very good and flavorful beer. Something that is perfect for fall. I'll take this over any watery and thin American made O'fests any day.

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Photo of ccrida
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Yuengling pilsner style glass, Punkin ale is a burnt caramel color with a small, light tan head that is long lasting and leaves nice lace. There's a light, but continuous stream of tight bubbles, which lasted through the end.

The aroma is nice, very distinctly pumpkin pie, with a touch of clean alcohol. Alluring, although it gets a bit rich as it warms.

The taste is very nice. Overall, this tastes a lot like a pumpkin dubbel to me, which is awesome! First time I had this, I thought it was fine, but am more impressed with this second bottle. The spices are present, but their fairly well balanced by the malt and pumpkin. Not sure if there is any spice from the yeast, but there's a fair amount of complexity, with light phenols and clean fusels on the finish. Funny, I've never much cared for pumpkin beers, but the last two I've had (this and Elysian) are really good.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side, with a slight crispness.

This sure is a pretty drinkable pumpkin. Sturdy enough that you'll want to sip it, rich enough to reward your patience, yet tasty enough that you'll want another when it gone.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. "Bottled in 2011 104 1"

A: Tight head rises to three fingers and sticks around. Some bubbles with a light orange, very clear beer. Good lacing.

S: Bready. Subtle spices, mostly obviously, allspice.

T: Yummy. The brown sugar mentioned on the label is more obvious here than in the smell. That particular sweetness, combined with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove, conspire to call to mind holiday pies, but not necessarily pumpkin. Perhaps the 'real pumpkin' used instead of manufactured pumpkin puree has less of an obvious flavour, but without the label, I'm not sure I would peg this as a pumpkin beer.

M: Smooth and thick at times, light and carbonated near the end. A well-balanced mouthfeel.

O: Not my favourite, but a worthy product, even if I do prefer some other pumpkin ales (notably, Williamsburg AleWerks'). Still, this is a good beer and a must-try for DFH aficionados. That said, I'm glad I only bought a single instead of a case.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an orange-amber color with a thick two finger off-white head. The head has very good retention, eventually fading to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is a nice blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar/molasses. Like a sweet piece of cold pumpkin pie.

Taste – The taste starts out of pumpkin and some cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg spice. As the flavor moves on, it sweetens some, with flavors of a caramel and a brown sugar taste coming to the tongue. These sweeter flavors when mixed with the pumpkin and spice create a very pleasant taste on the tongue. More toward the end of the taste, the spice and sweet intensify and combined with a light hop taste, to leave a tasty pumpkin pie flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Both were good for the pumpkin, sweet and spicy flavors. A little more creaminess may have given it an enhancement; giving it more of the silky pumpkin pie feel, but regardless, the mouthfeel was good overall.

Overall – Good and tasty pumpkin brew. I wish it was available for more than just one season.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,069 ratings.