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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Punkin Ale
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very good

2,067 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,067
Hads: 6,374
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 350
Gots: 1,260 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

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: 2,067 | Hads: 6,374
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 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 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 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 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 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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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,067 ratings.