Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,991 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,991
Hads: 5,997
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
Wants: 327
Gots: 975 | 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: 1,991 | Hads: 5,997
Photo of TimPowell
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head has done it again. This is an exceptional pumpkin ale, probably one of the finest I've tasted.

When I opened the bottle, I was hit by a very pleasant pumpkin aroma with a slight spicyness.

The taste is wonderful. This beer has a fine balance of pumpkin, spice, hops and malt. The finish is clean.

Great seasonal beer. (334 characters)

Photo of OldeGolde
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A quality brown ale that hints at molasses, spices (nutmeg!) and contains a suggestion of pumpkin (even pie [even cream!]). The pumpkin is mostly in the nose. I have to emphasize that these flavors are subtle- this beer wins points for not going too far in that direction. In a blind test, an amateur would not note the "punkin" flavor, I am sure. Though it's 7% ABV (not bad), you can taste a slight amount of heat. Here's to the heat, though, I've been taking cold showers all week and fall is fast approaching. Wouldn't mind sucking down a few of these on an autumn night with some friends. (593 characters)

Photo of mbrady55
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of the bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Looks really nice in a glass, light brown/orange in color, tiny bubbles of carbonation streaming up the middle of the glass, overall a very pleasant looking beer.

S: For me i get a good deal of nutmeg, subtle cinnamon, pumpkin flesh and i do get the organic brown sugar as well, yummm!

T: Nice spice taste at the front with the nutmeg and brown sugar dominating, also getting a nice pumpkin flesh taste in the middle, overall a very nice tasting pumpkin ale.

M: Oily and coating, flavor is diffused throughout the entire mouth.

O: Probably my favorite pumpkin beers of the ones i've tried, i have had ST and it is truly and amazing brew. However, for me i prefer more of a pumpkin beer than a pumpkin pie beer and this one fits the bill perfectly. I believe DFH has found a balance in this brew that would appeal to everyone. (886 characters)

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

A: Very transparant red amber color. Poured with very little head and lots of carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom of my snifter glass.

S: Slight pumpkin, cinnamon smell. Smell was not very strong

T: Can definitely taste pumpkin in this beer. There isn't an overwhelming spice taste. Aftertaste has a lot of cinnamon to it, which comes out more as the beer gets warmer.

M: Can feel a lot of carbonation on the togue at first taste as well as some alcohol.

O: Really enjoyed the beer. I would recommend it over most average to good pumpkin beers. Definitely on the more alcoholic side of other beers of this style. This beer came on heavy recommendation and I was not disappointed. (694 characters)

Photo of 49er
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Regardless of the label, this beer showed no flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice cinnamon or nutmeg. The color was the only thing I liked about this ale, light brown. (172 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 DrJ
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not having had a chance in the past to taste pumpkin-inspired ales, and given the strong (positive) reviews associated with this product, decided to try.

Color is attractive with good head retention, notes of cinnamon and squash on the nose, palate is very odd to me, with notes of spice and gourd, strangely vegetal hops flavor with unpleasantly sweet malt notes reminiscent of artificial maple-flavored syrup, long aftertaste is also unpleasant, with strange vegetal notes.

Would not recommend, which is disappointing given the excellent products made by Dogfish (I enjoy and recommend both their 60- and 90-minute IPAs).

At issue is whether or not my (unpleasant) experience is style-centric or product-centric; nevertheless, based upon this experience, I will not be tasting any pumpkin-styled seasonal beers for a long time. Perhaps I can exchange the unopened bottles for some strong IPAs or hop-centric Pilsners... (925 characters)

Photo of cash22
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Punkin Ale - 'A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg.'

Appearance - golden amber with a small head that dies quickly

Smell - sweet and spicy all together

Taste - subtle pumplin flavors followed by a spicy aftertaste once swallowed

Mouthfeel - Rough and strong, dominant, heavy

Drinkability - Easy to consume and looking forward to another (406 characters)

Photo of TheClassical
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12-oz bottle poured into a clean glass mug, warmed just a bit after it was very cold out of the fridge. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Dogfish Head’s “over the top” (or, if you’re like me, appropriately big) ales before, and I even got to sample a newly-brewed batch of this year’s Punkin Ale during an end-of-summer visit to their brewery. So keep these predilections in mind as you read; I was looking forward to this beer.

So let’s begin with appearance: it all begins with a smooth, fizzy, carbonated pour. Bubbles fizz up rapidly like a soft drink; even two minutes after the pour, a steady stream of bubbles was quietly frothing to the surface. A light orange and brown color, pleasant and warm, never too dark but just dark enough in the middle of my mug to give it a nice opacity. A light foamy head disappeared very quickly. The cozy copper color is very inviting.

Smell is strong: pumpkin, of course, but also sugar, spices. Not very strong, but pleasant; a lot to take in, but it doesn’t seep out of the mug and grab you, it waits for you to get close. And now, to sip, perchance to taste …

The first sip is strong and tasty; definitely a pumpkin beer. The sweet, well-balanced taste hits you right away, and the cold beer has a crisp and flavorful finish. A great first sip, just strong enough to make me perk up and want to savor the rest of this beer.

Mouthfeel is good: sharp, flavorful, upfront tastes of pumpkin and nutmeg, more subtle tastes that linger a bit, cinnamon and some of the other spices. A good complement of strong tastes at first with some more nuanced flavors coming in to finish up the job.

I am finding this very sippable, the flavors are nice and crisp, spicy and warm, but not heavy. Putting my nose deep into the mug, and getting a nice strong whiff of those spicy, seasonal smells, heightens the taste and really makes this a tasty drink.

Halfway though this beer, I’m really enjoying it. It’s quite sippable, it’s tasty and full of flavor and aroma. This is a great slow drink on a chilly winter afternoon. I think the alcohol is becoming more pronounced, toward the end, and it’s a bit distracting. It’s been a flavorful and tasty ride up till this point, and the heavier alcohol taste is somewhat disappointing. But the pumpkin is still there, it’s well-balanced, but Dogfish Head wisely lets some of the other flavors take the stage and they really supplement each other especially well.

I’ve never had a pumpkin ale before, but this one was tasty. The alcohol crept up slowly toward the end, so I don’t know quite how many I could enjoy in one sitting. It’s easily a fun, enjoyable single, but I could see pairing this with some good food and having a couple. I enjoyed it and would easily enjoy another! (2,782 characters)

Photo of bifrojm
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Nice copper color with white head.

Smells lightly spiced of pumpkin pie, nice nutmeg and bits of cinnamon. Smells sweet with malt.

The taste is good, not great for the style. Nice blend of spices for a light pumpkin pie flavor. Very malty sweet and unfortunately I feel the booze shines through. I used to love this pumpkin ale until I had more spiced and quite honestly more balanced versions.

Mouthfeel is fine, nice body, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - I still buy this one, but only because I can't get my favorite in Chicago (Schlafly!). It's kind of boozy (tasting, not just in ABV), so I usually only have one per sitting before moving on to something else. There are two schools on pumpkin ales, and I land firmly in the more spice, the better, and I think this is in the more subtle arena. I alos think the balance is off, especially for the Dogfish guys. (907 characters)

Photo of southside
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bit different than most pumpkin ales. This has much more spice coming from the nutmeg and cinnamon additions, and a nice sweetness from the brown sugar but not too overbearing. This is more of a spice type of beer with some pumpkin flavoring, rather than the pumpkin being the main focus of the taste. Definitely interesting and worth trying, especially if you aren't always fond of how sweet pumpkin ales can be. (423 characters)

Photo of Julz
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A beautiful golden color with a think head when poured.

Stale bread with a nutmeg smell which makes you think of fall and crisp cool air.

Bitter right off the bat, then strong "alcohol" flavor and then finished again with bitter.

Medium body which is nice in the mouth.

I was really looking forward to trying this beer, kinda disappointed. I like IPA's and bitter ales but this is just a little to strong for me. I think I prefer the Post Road Pumpkin Ale better.

Serving type: bottle (490 characters)

Photo of Father_Raybob
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Medium amber with red tint. Bright and clear beer. Tan colored strong head that persists through the first third of a pint and then reduces to very nice lacing.

Nose - Fresh Cut Pumpkin, Coriander and a bit of malt. Clean smell.

Taste - Great big fresh pumpkin wave that is followed by brown sugar, allspice, gentle cloves and a pleasantly dry and bitter finish. I am left wanting another sip after every last sip.

Overall - Wonderfully sessionable beer from DFH. I paired it with a Pecan Sticky Bun that my wife and I split; very tasty. This is not an over-the-top beer; rather, it is nicely balanced. (619 characters)

Photo of FordBrewing
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this both in a bottle and on-tap, and have also brought it home in a growler from DFH Brewings & Eats.

This fall seasonal pours a orange-brown color with an average sized white head. It shows spare lacing but a sparkling body. Whatever it may lack in appearance in quickly made up with what it brings in aroma. This is a very spicy, earthy beer with hints of brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon that become more evident with every smell. It is medium bodied with an oily, also mineral-like texture and average carbonation with a bitter finish.

This beer is the epitome of all things "fall". The scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar beckon to be slowly taken-in, and elicit thoughts of Halloween, cooler weather and home made pumpkin pie. It is a must have for a fall dinner with friends, sitting around a campfire or watching post-season baseball. (871 characters)

Photo of McGuire75
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Moderately Darker Copper in color, with very light carbonation, moderate light head with little head retention. Semi-opaque that has a subdued life that looks welcoming and warm like dusk in autumn.

S- Sweet malt flavors with carmel, slight pumpkin spices, with hints of earthen woods, leaves, and a slightly metallic pine.

T- Creamy with molasas and spice enhanced by the slight bite of carbonation, tastes of cinnamon but lacking on the pure pumpkin flavors.

M- Carbonation is felt on the tip and flowing to the center of the toungh. Creamy and mildly rich with a smooth finish.

D- The Punk was easy to drink and gave me a sense of the fall harvest, pumpkin pies and the crisp autumn air. I would drink more if in a setting where the beer is primary (bar or as someone's guest) however in comparison to other pumpkin ales (Blue Moon's Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale) I would have to pass on the Dogfish Head for the Harvest Ale. That being said, this is another great beer from Dog Fish Head and if you are in the mood for a great mix between a full-on Pumpkin (to Pumpkin Pie) ale and a great Octoberfest this beer is worth the time to find.

I will be enjoying this brew this autumn and into the future; although in moderation, the 4-pack offering and the price do not promote more frequent tastings. (1,309 characters)

Photo of JackRose
2.6/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed and probably the weakest of Dogfish Head's offerings (with the exception of the Namaste' which I feel bad about reviewing). Sam and his team of brewers are super creative and have done much to promote and grow craft brewing, but I do not always like their beers.

I tried this beer for three seasons in the past four - always wondering if it was just me or maybe I had purchased a beer leftover from the past year and not in the best shape, but alas it has always disappointed. Fans of it tell me that it is unique in that their is a significant hop presence. I just find it muddled and murky with regards to flavors, although I like their clean lines/packaging with regards to the bottle. I will stick with my choices of The Bruery Autumn Maple (not truly a pumpkin beer), Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, and Southern Tier's Pumpkin (although it is not as good as past years and it seems that it is has much more vanilla flavor this year). Trying hard to get a friend to buy some CCB Good Gourd. (1,008 characters)

Photo of ShireReeve
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Tulip Glass

Appearance: Clear copper. Nice amount of carbonation. A good, four finger head that lasted a few minutes. Respectable lacing.

Smell: This one is easy…delicious! I got the aroma of buttery cinnamon and obviously some pumpkin pie notes as well.

Taste: Definitely followed the nose. Malty and sweet upfront, holiday spice in the middle, and then a crisp hoppy back end.

Mouth Feel: Medium. I would have liked a more creamy feel to emphasize the taste and nose. The dry hops linger around nicely but not overbearing at all.

Overall: Oh yeah, I like this one! Love the idea of it being limited by the season as well. Will be buying a larger portion of this for the next month or two. Then look forward to it coming out again next year. (756 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 pedrito
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was happy to see this one at the store today. I'm a fan of the pumpkin variety, and this is probably one of my favorites.

Appearance: Golden copper body and minimal head.

Smell: Somewhere between a jar of pennies and brown sugar.

Taste: Rich and buttery initially with heavy brown sugar. After it settles a bit the nutmeg and pumpkin come out. There's a definite metalic aftertaste that makes your tongue tingle along the sides a bit.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard - bubbly on the tongue, smooth wash down.

Drinkability: With a month to go till Halloween, this one's got some definite mileage. (600 characters)

Photo of AITCTKD170
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this brew poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It poured a nice light amber color with a one finger head, leaving a little lace on the glass. At first smell, I could smell the apparent cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, no notable pumpkin. Initially all the taste is of the added spices, leading eventually to a smooth finishing pumkin and spiced flavored ale. A little on the light side for a pumkin ale. A beer I wouldnt mind having again, but a little expensive for the overall experience - $10.99 for a 4 pack. (519 characters)

Photo of lawaaaw
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz into a 250ml Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Poured golden, almost opaque with a small head that dissipates very quickly.

Smell: Smells a bit sweet, not a strong smell. Can smell hints of cinnamon and other spices, but they are light.

Taste: Not a very lasting taste, but its very balanced- feeling of both bitter and sweet. Can taste a hint of pumpkin while followed by bitterness. However, the bitterness is not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, Balanced carbonation, finish is refreshing with a note of burning alcohol

Drinkability: I would drink this again. It is not overwhelmingly bitter while not being too sweet. It does leave a burning feeling at the back of my throat which I really dislike. (729 characters)

Photo of SchmittyRexus
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with almost no head.

Smell: Almost like grandma's pumpkin pie. A variety of spices dominate the aroma.

Taste: A great pumpkin ale. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweetness of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Not overpowering at all.

Overall: This was one of my favorites from a pumpkin beer tasting. A great fall treat. (355 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 Private_Beer_Tongue
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So this was my First "Foray" into Craft Brew and out of "Piss in a can hood" call it beginners luck or whatever you want but this is a great tasting brew in all respects! its sufficiently bitter enough though not so much that it becomes hard to Drink, no real "up front Pumpkin flavor to speak of though its in the aroma for sure the taste comes into play after you've taken your sip and let your mouth warm back up a bit then you get that Pumpkin or should I say "Punkin Pie" taste creeping in, not a bad drink at all its GREAT like it so much I pick up a case yearly and share it with my Bro's & Ho's respectably of course! =D (628 characters)

Photo of PudTinkler
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had quite a few different brands of Pumpkin Ale, but by no means am I an expert. This is one of the more unique brands I've had, and that is neither good nor bad.

The appearance is a burnt orange, very clear..the smell has a faint hint of nutmeg and alcohol. There was not much head when poured into the glass.

The taste was a bit overwhelming...maybe too strong for a pumpkin ale, at least as compared to other brands. The strength of the beer seems to drown out the pumpkin (and pumpkin-related..nutmeg, allspice, etc.) flavors.

This is coming out more "negative" than I'd like...this is a good beer, maybe too strong for the style though. (655 characters)

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,991 ratings.