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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,071 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: 2,071 | Ratings: 6,405
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 !!

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Photo of Bootscraper
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, not only is this my first review since joining the site, but this regrettably is also the only brew from Dogfish Head that I have had the privilege of enjoying. Hopefully more styles from this brewery will stand up to my reviewing in the near future!

Poured from bottle into pint glass, at mildly chilled temperature.
Beautiful orange to golden hue, getting darker as a near-amber towards the top. Very sparkling carbonation allows for a 1cm even, fairly-uniform head. After about 5 minutes, the head became quite a thin layer that stayed even across the glass the whole way down. Lacing was spotted, but only slowly fell with each sip.
The smell was subtle, and composed of alcohol and slight sweetness. Somewhere in there I finally noticed a pinch of spiciness after a couple good whiffs.
The first thing I noticed upon tasting was that the spiciness in the aroma was now the center of the action, and really came alive in the aftertaste, drawing hints of nutmeg and also a bit of cinnamon and even brown sugar. Very slight accents of pumpkin were found throughout the entirety of each sip. There was a pinch of alcohol, but it seemed to blend well with the soft spiciness of the flavors, so it almost came across as an illusion that the alcohol was actually well-masked... something I enjoy. The key part of this beer, IMO, is the lengthy aftertaste. It makes it one of those great beers where you can sip it, use the bathroom, come back, and still be noticing some pumpkin pie in your mouth. Even with dabbles small enough to just wet your lips, you can make one of these beers last.
The Mouth feel is what really makes this one of my favorite beers, aside from that aftertaste. Smoother than melted butter and very creamy, the texture does not command too much of you, and it glides right down.

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Photo of wikk3d
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a golden amber color with a thick foam head that settles to about half a finger. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Aroma - Sweet smell, pumpkin spice, citrus, hints of cinnamon. You can tell it's going to be a very sweet beer. Has a linger of a malt scent.

Taste - It's a very sweet ale right off the bat. Cinnamon lingers as it goes down. The pumpkin is very prevalent in this beer. Extremely smooth. It's not like many other pumpkin ales where there's only a hint of spice, it's very powerful. The sweetness adds to it. Not bitter at all.

Mouth - My only complaint is that it can be a little dry as you get into a full glass. Although the aftertaste it leaves makes up for it. Very sweet, similar to that of a pumpkin pie.

Drinkability - I was very impressed by Dogfishhead's attempt at a pumpkin ale. I may sound repetitive but it's very very smooth. It's a lot sweeter than others that I have tried, they really aren't afraid to use their spices. Definitely a must.

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Photo of CrystalShipMS3
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect hazy gold. Its the color a fall beer should be.

Smells like ice cold pumpkin juice. Hint of spices. Some mild alcohol.

Tastes like ice cold pumpkin juice. As it warms a bit spices are more noticeable. Light caramel and malt flavors come in last and leave a pleasant aftertaste.

This is the perfect beer for September and October. Its hard to want to drink anything else.

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Photo of Rojopunk
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I am a pumkin beer lover ! When i picked this up i was shocked at the taste just the right amount of nutmeg .Also i think just the right abv .I loved this beer ! My favorite of the punking beers ! Amazing! Ever sip packed with pumkin and nutmeg .I tried it for the first time this year . I will be picking this up for many years to come provided Dogfish head keeps making it .

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Photo of sarajayne
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Punkin Ale is the perfect beer for the changing season. It is only available from September first until around Thanksgiving. This award winning full-bodied brew is made from only the finest ingredients, which include pumpkin meat and brown sugar, make the perfect recipe for a cold fall night - not for the light drinker. A bit more pricey than most, but well worth it. If you haven’t had it before nows your chance.

Collage girls GOOD drink beer:

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Photo of tekk9
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a short lacey head that disapears quickly. The smell, who doesn't like the smell of punkin and allspice. Their is very little pumpkin flavour, but the subtleness is perfect. It has a light carbonation and not too watery.

I am not a fan of pumpkin beers, but I was really impressed by this one. The flavours are not over powering and meld together well.

A great beer, one I will get again.

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Photo of dciskey
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler with about 1.5 fingers of tan head. Head retains fairly well and eventually diminishes into a ring around the edge. Very little lacing. Color is dark iced tea with some ruby edges.

Smell is alcohol, then sweet brown sugar, some bready malt and pumpkin spices. Pretty much like pumpkin pie. The first taste is malty and maybe pumpkin (which I guess is pretty neutral when you make beer with it), then a little sweetness and some spiciness. Alcohol is barely detectable. I took the bottle out of my 40 degree-ish fridge about 15 minutes before pouring; I highly recommend doing this; the other three bottles from this four pack I started drinking too cold, which makes it all spices and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is medium-low, a good and almost creamy combination that melds well with the flavor. This beer tastes good for what it is, and I'm glad I tried it, but since I'm not a pumpkin pie fan I'm not sure I'd want more than one of these in a session. Also, as it warms the alcohol really pokes itself through; I think 10 minutes out of the fridge might have been better. I'd rather have one of these than a slice of pie, though!

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Photo of JGargano
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down my favorite seasonal offering of the pumpkin variety. Punkin is complex with multiple, delicious flavors throughout each sip. There's coriander, cloves, and, of course pumpkin flavor that dominate each sip. What's so fantastic about this is that you don't all these flavors at once; they wash over your mouth individually. It's like eating a delicious pumpkin spice-cake. My only complaint is that each bottle is 250 calories! I only drink one per sitting due to the calorie count. Other than that there's nothing I can fault this delicious beer over!

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Photo of ZacHart
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a light head that hangs around for a while. Hard-hitting aroma of spicy pumpkin pie and nutmeg come through strong in the flavor, along with the raisins towards the finish. Slight, warming alcohol presence nicely offsets the pumpkin and malt sweetness. This is highly drinkable and my favorite pumpkin beer (and believe me I've tried them all--my wife loves them).

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Photo of DamDweller
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 2010

Very nice head forms when this beer is poured. The hue is a nice reddish copper. The head remains for some time and leaves clear lines of retention. The beer effervesces continuously helping to maintain the head. The smell is predominantly cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight hint of pumpkin and rye. Taste is all about lightly sweetened pumpkin pie. The dominant flavors are nutmeg and cinnamon, but the focus on those spices helps make this beer quite drinkable. The beer seems to be a little light on the body. This beer to coat the tongue a little more considering it's a fall/winter beer. All in all, this is a good beer, and if one plans on drinking more than one, all is well.

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

This unusual take on an autumn beer could only be a creation of Sam Calagione and company. For those of you familiar with Dogfish Head's bottled works of art, you'll know exactly what I Am talking about. For those of you not familiar...I'm so sorry you've been missing out....But, this is a great beer to start with....
The pour is a thick, dark orange elixir with about a finger of creamy, tan head. The aroma remarkably filled the area as I poured this one and I was hesitant to bury my nose in it....but, of course, I did. The smell is not one of your average autumn, pumpkin-like beers. It was much spicier, as the allspice dominated most of the nose, and had a well balanced finish of sweetened nutmeg.
The taste was very surprising, as you get a touch of hop bitterness first, followed by a long single-file line of spices.... Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just the right touch of pumpkin hit the palate without the over sweetening common to this style. Finally, a very subtle brown sugar finish and a spacey carbonation polish things off...without a hint of the 7% ABV.
But hey, this was made on just another day at the Dogfish Head Brewery...one could only imagine.... what could be next?....

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

A: Orange in color, white head, decent lacing.

S: Spice, and some fruit.

T: Spices, slight cinnamon and nutmeg, notable alcohol finish.

MF: Crisp, a lot of carbonation.

D: Not bad for a gimmick beer. I didn't really detect any pumpkin, but it was pleasant enough.

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Photo of Gandhified
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, served at cellar temperature.

A: Brilliant clarity! Coppery/orange, with a nice cream colored head that dissipates quickly. The color is appropriate for the style, but does not jive with the "brown ale" description on the bottle.

S: Spice and alcohol dominate the nose. Maybe some bread/toasted flavors in the background.

T: Spice, toast, and alcohol are the most prevalent flavors, but none being overwhelming. After warming some I get some light vanilla flavor. Maybe some roasted pumpkin flavors, but I really have to look for it. Just enough residual sweetness, but again not overwhelming.

M: Medium body, and lowish carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall a good beer. Not outstanding like some of DFH's other beers. I would recommend even to non-craft beer drinkers as it had good flavor combined with drinkability.

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Photo of 00trayn
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, VA (from notes).

A - A dark transparent amber color with a thick white head, slight lacing.

S - It smells like fall in a pint glass. A warm pumpkin scent is mixed with spices and a hint of sweet.

T - Spices definitely come forward in flavor, nutmeg and cinnamon are prominent. Nice malty taste as well with a spicy and sweet finish. The pumpkin is noticeable but not overpowering.

M - Medium body with a good level of carbonation. It has a smooth, creamy texture.

O - Hands down my favorite pumpkin (or should I say punkin') ale. I look forward to this release every year at the Alehouse (and the free pint glass that they give away with it). I made sure to buy two 4-pack to keep in my fridge for when I couldn't get it on tap anymore.

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On sight, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale pours clear, pale gold, hinting toward a caramelish brown. The scent it gives off is comprised of brown sugar, slightly caramelized, with hints of vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. The smell is vaguely creamy, with a hint of pumpkin. On the palate, it starts off slightly sweet, with a moderate mouth feel, and a delicate carbonization. Flavor wise, it’s full of brown sugar, light caramelization, cinnamon, allspice, and a touch of nutmeg. The pumpkin element is subdued, but still present, in a distinctly squashy kind of way. It finishes on the spicier side, with touches of butter and a hint of bitterness.

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Photo of ntalexan
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

-Color: Decent Carbonation, medium dark amber

-Nose: You get the pumpkin on the nose. Kind of smells like a gingerbread cookie, even a bit of the nutmeg. You can envision a liquid pumpkin pie getting ready to pass between your lips.

-Flavor: Full of pumpkin flavor. Baking spices, cinnamon, gingerbread cookies, and even get the sugar. Silky smooth mouth feel and you get a bit of the malt on the back end.

-Rating: 2.75/5- It’s a great pumpkin beer but would I say it’s a great beer? No. If I had to buy another pumpkin beer... I would buy this one. Simply because I love this brewery and will support just about everything Sam and the guys are doing there.


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Photo of oldgrowth
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brownish orange color. Small head that disappeared quickly. Nice smell, spice dominates. Allspice, nutmeg & Cinnamon really come thru. The pumpkin & nutmeg step up in the taste with the brown ale making a nice backbone. Crisp tangy spicy on the toungue. Very drinkable. A nice brew.

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Photo of stephendedalus
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the best Pumpkin Ales I have sampled to date. Unlike Blue Moon, Post Road (yes, I know it is brewed by Brooklyn--and I usually really like their products), Dogfish head uses a brown ale base (I'm guessing their Indian Brown), which gives this punkin' a little more complexity and body than some of the competitors. Likewise, the slightly higher ABV (7%) helps cuts a lot of the potentially cloying sweetness created from the allspice, etc., resulting in a tasty seasonal ale. I usually enjoy the punk for about a month, then it is time for it to retire for another year...until the breeze turns crisp and I start to think of Autumn seasonals one more time. Speaking of seasonals...Mad Elf coming soon!

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Photo of bfr1992t
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle served in a standard 16oz glass.
A - average, amber, light head.
S - earthy malt, almost sour.
T - strong brown ale at first, weak hints of pumpkin. First taste finished with pumpkin pie. Subsequent tastings were more of strong brown ale, somewhat sour/bitter and less, almost non-existant pumpkin. I really had to hunt for the pumpkin flavor at times but when it did appear it was like a bite of pumpkin pie.
M - Harsh from carbonation. Otherwise average.
D - Most likely pass on this brew due to the bitter finish. I'm not a fan of brown ales. I would not consider it a disappointment and would recommend to any brown ale drinking.

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Photo of Willibomb
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made it a point to try every pumpkin ale I could get my hands on this year to rank them all. I am a fan of the style, so I had to make sure I knew when I saw a good one or when I saw a fake.

I probably had 50 different pumpkin ales this year, and this one was the best one.

Terrapin, brooklyn, buffolo bills came close, but they all had somethin that was missing in the clove flavor, that this beer absolutely delivers.

It does not go for the "pumpkin pie in your mouth" angle that williamsburg or southern tier does, This is a great decision for the drinkability of this beer. It is one of the very few that can be drank like a session beer without giving you a sugar shock.

Great use of cloves, allspice and home made "dragon scales" as they would say at the brewery.

This makes a pumpkin ale that is a must have each fall season!! Too bad it can be so hard to find!!

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Photo of MeanGene
4.79/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Without a doubt, the best Pumpkin beer I've ever had. Smells of rich cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. Compared to other Pumpkin beers I've had such as Jack's and Blue Moon's pumpkin offerings, you get the pumpkin taste on the back-end...more of an aftertaste.

I believe this resulted in the beer being extremely drinkable and not too sweet.

A truly terrific beer, great for the holidays. Definitely on the pricey side (51 bones or so/case) but worth it!

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Photo of joozyboozy
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

there was almost no head in this beer, and it dissapated to no lacing what so ever. it is a clear solid redish orange color.

the smell was amazing. if you have had pumpkin pie, this is pumpkin pie in a bottle.

the taste was very delicious on the pumpkin end but as far as beer flavors go its not the best. but really if you think about it alot of hops and heavy grains would just kill the pumpkin taste.

the mouthfeel was suprisingly thick. medium carbonation and a bit sticky

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Photo of drtacks37
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge Halloween fan I wish I like Pumpkin Ales more...but I don't. That said, this is my favorite of the style.

Nice deep orange/red color.
Nice consistent tan head. Great lacing.
Powerful nose heavy with allspice and nutmeg aroma.
The flavors have distinct character. However, it's very sweet with an alcohol burn.

Again, not my favorite style, but one I would buy again.

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Photo of capn
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another entry in the Fall seasonal category is Dogfish Head's - Punkin Ale. This beer was first introduced at the Punkin Chunkin contest in 1994 as a homebrew by Dogfish's owner before he even founded the brewery. Since then, it has been released each year around September as a seasonal and, according to Dogfish, is usually gone by Thanksgiving. It is a brown ale brewed with real pumpkin meat, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. They didn't list any information about the malts or hops, but did say it is 7% ABV and 28 IBU.

Punkin Ale pours clear with a nice amber color, creamy off-white head, and leaves good lace behind. It has a crisp, malty nose which was very pleasant with no overpowering pumpkin aroma. The first sip revealed a crisp mouth-feel all around which became creamier as the beer warmed. The flavor is full-bodied with some complexity and presents hints of spice around mid-tongue with a pumpkin and cinnamon follow through. The balance of this beer is excellent and the pumpkin flavor is subtle throughout.

I must say I have been pleased with this season's pumpkin ales in general, although I have tried some that weren't that good. Of all the ones I have tried though, Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale is right up near the top. Don't let the 7% ABV or the fact it is a pumpkin fool you, this beer is extremely drinkable and I absolutely recommend it.

I wish you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Cap'n

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.