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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,062 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,062
Hads: 6,328
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 354
Gots: 1,228 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,062 | Hads: 6,328
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 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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Photo of jthor018
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Golden orange. Not much of a head.
S: Smells like pumpkin pie and makes me ready for Thanksgiving.
T: Tastes like Thanksgiving dinner's dessert; a beer while eating pumpkin pie. Nutmeg taste comes through.
M & D: A sipper. Could drink like water but why would you? Makes me anxious for summer's end.

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Photo of merzeone
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased on 10/11

A: Pours a Golden orange extremely clear and a good cream head about 1 finger

AR: Pumpkin spices , Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, a little bready no hop presence.

T: A touch of Spice and some malt sweetness,little to no yeast flavor.Not overwhelmingly Pumpkin flavors pretty well put together no fighting between the flavors.

M: Medium to light carbonation, light body pretty easy to drink finishes rather dry.

O: For a Pumpkin beer I always expect it to be over the top, and for dogfish head they actually pulled back a bit on intensity and went for a damn tasty and drinkable beer for the season. I guess there extreme was to do the opposite of what they normally do by not going over the top. Be that as it may it is still really good and highly drinkable I would recommend for sure. its Quality.

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Photo of Lou22
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

I'm not going to do an in-depth review. I had this beer chill for a little and it was a lot more enjoyable. Definitely a wintery-feel to it. More spice than pumpkin, smooth as ever though. This deserves to be enjoyed.

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Photo of Pete_2112
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little disappointed by this one, because I had heard such good reviews of it from years past. The smell is quite weak. I didn't detect any pumpkin spice or pumpkin in the nose. Just a malty smell, that was still a bit weak. The taste at first had a slight pumpkin spice flavor to it, but now I'm not picking it up at all, really. It has a nice sweet, malty taste, but not that pumpkin flavor that I'm craving. Overall, I'm just disappointed by this one.

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Photo of DovGibor
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 Punkin poured into a pint glass. Amber and clear, with almost no head. Nose is roasted pumpkin without any sweetness.

Medium mouthfeel with noticeable carbonation on the palate. Flavor is light malt and rich pumpkin. Spices or pumpkin pie flavors are absent. No discernible hops.

Light on the malt for a brown ale, and not lacks the sweetness of many pumpkin beers. But it's straightforward and enjoyable.

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Photo of flanmedic51
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, 1" white head lasted for about 30sec, white lacing remained for duration. Dark amber color noted.

Smells of allspice, malt, and kinda floral. No pumpkin. VERY pleasant tho.

Taste altogether different from smell. A malty spiciness really shines through. Nutmeg & cinnamon, maybe a smidge of actual pumpkin gets through. Definately get the warmth of alcohol. (7%ABV).

Perfect to integrate a Brown Ale as a basis for a fall seasonal. It's full of flavor and great spicey/malty flavor. It's extremely enjoyable, and really hard to find much to critisize about. Probably the best Fall seasonal I've had so far.

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Photo of UFGUY2122
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour a coppery brown with almost no head or lacing. All the smells advertised on the bottle came through: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin (although not as much pumpkin as i was expecting). The taste was dominated by the spices with little pumpkin coming through. The maltiness was cut slightly by the bitterness of hops coming through. One of the high points of this beer was the smooth mouthfeel. The dominance of the spices hurt the drinkability of this beer for me.

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

Appearance: Golden with hints of amber and minimum head retention. Not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Imagine this but it smells like pumpkins. Nutmeg and cinnamon are evident with the latter of the two being more noticeable.

Taste: Wow. Warmth on the roof of the mouth as it goes down, with all-spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin dancing around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Very gentle, and I find it slightly warming.

Drinkability: I would love to have this as a nice relaxing beer rather than drinking them en-masse. Two would be the limit for me as I think they would lose their effect after more than that.

Overall Impressions: During the late fall and through winter I normally settle down with a nice warm apple cider (non-alcoholic) from the local orchards, but this might have jumped from a chance substitute to a permanent spot in the starting line-up. Tied with Brooklyn's Dark Chocolate Stout for my #1 favorite seasonal.

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Photo of Suomi411
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on 09/08/08. 7% ABV.
A: Hazy, copper with an orange tint. Minimal head that disappears very quickly and remains almost non-existent. Effervescence present. Lacing also disappears quickly.
S: Very sweet with with a large nutmeg presence, pumpkin and slight notes of brown sugar and cinnamon. Reminds me very much of pumpkin pie.
T: I am not really picking up much pumpkin. Similar to smell, the nutmeg is largely present. Roasted malt, caramel also present and very slight hints of sweetness from the brown sugar and cinnamon. There is minimal hop presence with a dry finish. The 7% ABV does not go unnoticed and leaves a warming sensation.
M: Light to medium body with carbonation present.
D: Mouthfeel is good, but the alcohol presence limits the drinkability.
I am a huge fan of this style; however, this one has left me a bit disappointed (perhaps due to it almost being a year old) especially after being very excited by the smell. I will definitely try this again and see if I feel any different.

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Photo of Rguardian989
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

appearance and smell - dark honey colored with a lot of bubbles. off white head which doesnt last very long. no lacing at all. definitely spices with pumpkin in there and the malt comes through very clearly. theres an undertone of alcohol but its not at all pervasive or offensively strong.

taste and mouthfeel - alcohol is more present now but still not offensive. all the spices on the label are in the taste. very smooth feel with a carbonated bite and good body.

drinkability - while this beer is good its definitely a dessert sipper for me

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Photo of Nature777
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is God's gift to Pumpkin Ales! This is easily the most natural tasting pumpkin ale that I've ever had. A lot of other pumpkin ales that I've had reeked of artificial flavors, a quality that has turned me off of several of this style.

A- This has a very nice amber color, perfect for the style. Compete with a lasting white head, lacing the glass down to the last sip. Utterly superb.

S- This will give any freshly homemade pumpkin pie right out of the oven a run for its money. The smell is exactly what a pumpkin ale should smell like.

T- Pumpkin! Real pumpkin! Absolutely stellar! Considering the high alcohol content, the alcohol is very well hidden.

M- It's a little heavy, but easy to drink. With the high alcohol content, you really don't need to many of these to be in a good place.

This beer is absolutely worth trying! There will be a 4-pack of these in my fridge ever season!

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Photo of chickenandrice
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orangish amber color with a minimal head

S - Pumpkin galore! Spiced to the brim and you can smell it across the room.

T - Nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin. A lagerish taste on the end as it finishes sour and with the punkin throughout.

M - Light bodied, little carbonation. Mouth full of spice and a kick.

D - Started out good, but got harder to drink as I went, got through the bottle with just a bit of difficulty at the end.

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Photo of skibumma70
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is of a light pumpkin spice smell, not subtle and not overpowering.
Appearance is an orangy/brown clear color with a thin white head that lasts to the last sip.
Taste is not in your face pumpkin, but a nice balance of spices, and pumpkin flavor that comes later in the sip. It does go down pretty smooth, as do most dogfish beers.
Overall, its pretty good... Pumpkin ales are mostly hit or miss, and this one is a thumbs up. It’s not as strong as a flavor as others I have tried, but it’s a good beer. It’s a bit overpriced at 9.99 for a 4 pack though.

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Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

9/15/15 Poured from a 12oz bottle packaged on ?/?/15. No date given other than 2015 edition, but hopefully recently for the Fall season. I'm primarily judging this beer from comparison to other Pumpkin beers and from DFH's own description on the bottle, which follows:
"A full-bodied brown ale" NOT! It's a light-bodied, overly carbonated at that, pale-amber ale.
"Brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." Tastes like it too - MUDDY.
Why all three spices? There is a lot going on just with the malts, pumpkin and brown sugar...
The Look is brilliantly clear like all other mass produced crap. This is a specialty ale, why filter so?
Smell... I didn't care for it, but maybe it is suppose to smell that way.
I saved the worst for last - the label.. They've changed the look from the traditional, tried and true DFH classic (see this webs pic below) to a half naked nimph covered in ink... The marketing department just jumped the shark on this one!

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Photo of thegiggy86
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this beer last night at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn.

This is my first experience with a Pumpkin style ale.

The look of this beer reminded me of autumn leaves. The dark orange kind.
This beer produced a pumpkin pie-like aroma.
This beer tasted like a pumpkin pie.

In terms of drinkability, I only had a half pint, but I could definitely have another. Based on my positive experience with this beer, I will be drinking more Pumpkin Ale in the future.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.