Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

5,993 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,993
Reviews: 2,017
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 322
Gots: 968 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,993 | Reviews: 2,017
Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived with a huge, fluffy, off-white/light tan head above a slightly cloudy, medium-amber colored beer. The nose was spicy, like a blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, clove, and others. The scent was very evocative of pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel was tingly, tangy, spicy, but not hot. Fizzy? I dislike that term, but it was a refreshingly palate-cleansing beer. The spiciness was evident on the palate, but the finish was where they were really at. As it warmed, the the spices became even more evident. I wrote that it would be perfect for autumn afternoons watching football, the leaves changing colors, gourds flying across the sky ... Bring on the fall!

Today is F, 09 August 2014 and as part of my ongoing campaign to divest myself of these pesky bottles, I came upon one in the basement's Beerfrigerator. I wish that I had noted where I got it on-tap in 2005, or where I scored this one. C'est la guerre! Notched as "Packaged in 2003". Hee hee.

From the bottle: "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg."

I employed a very gentle pour as I was not sure whether any lees were present. I could not see any, but that means nothing. I had no head initially, but I swirled it and got a finger of tawny head that lasted only briefly. Color was Amber to Deep-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had really evolved to the point that the cinnamon and nutmeg stood out like a pair of sore thumbs! Spicy. Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was nothing like I had noted in its on-tap form. I liked this a bit better, actually. The taste was mellow, very spicy, but not as intense as it may have been. This really seemed to have aged well over the decade-plus. It took on a brandy-like quality that I found quite interesting. The label reads "7% Alc. by Vol.", but it was packing some heat. The spices really dried it out to the point that pumpkin and brown sugar were afterthoughts. It was bitingly dry and still slightly hot, reinforcing my brandy idea, but I may revise that to "sherry". Either way, it was different!

Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear amber / orange color with a thin head. A definite spicy aroma is quickly noticed. The taste is a nice balance of sweet and spice, as cinnamon and nutmeg are clearly evident. The body was slightly thin, and the spiciness lasts a bit on the tongue after swallowing. The higher alocohol content is barely noticeable. Nice beer to sip on a chilly October evening while sitting looking at your carved pumpkins, though it is not a beer to drink several of.

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, clear amber with 1/2" of foamy head. Nice retention. Noticeable carbonation. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin are all present in the nose. All the spices are present in the taste; allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon. The pumpkin however are seems to be more faint than I remember in the past. It's there and noticeable but the spices definitely dominate. The brown sugar is also noticeable in the finish as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, though a little thin.

A nice seasonal from DFH, but this years (2011) just didn't bring the same intense flavors that I remember the last two years.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light burnt orange, ochre with a full white head, good retention and lacing into a snifter.

S: Lighter than expected, nice notes of pumpkin pie spice, and some brown sugar and molasses.

T: Starts of with full cinnamon spice, and light pumpkin flesh. The beer's overall profile changes mid-sip where the brown sugar comes out and ends on a really nice allspice note.

M: Medium-bodied, with a lot of residual spice, well done I though for a pumpkin beer in the 7% range.

D: This is a really good pumpkin beer from Dogfish Head. Very drinkable, I just wish it was easily available in SoCal like it is in NorCal.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with freshness info notched onto the label. 2004 batch. Pours medium golden almond in color, clear, with a white head and leaves a decent amout on lacing. Bready malty nose. Full bodied and rich mouthfeel. Nice depth of malty body and flavor. Pumkiny undertones and spices evident but in background, adding to complexity and intrigue. Usually this is not my favorite type of beer, but this creation is a winner. Tasty brew, an obvious choice to go with hearty fall dishes, can you say Thanksgiving dinner?

Photo of yourefragile
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Cloudy, translucent honey amber color. Thin off white head with little retention. Dissipates to a ring of medium sized bubbles with a little streaky lacing.
S: Very strong and festive, primarily pumpkin pie and spices. Malt presence, no hops. Less "fake" or artificial smelling than other pumpkin brews.
T: Medium bodied, creamy, with high carbonation. Like the smell, it tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass, but not in a bad way. Strong malt body, biscuit like and slightly dry. I'm a little late in reviewing this beer and it isn't nearly as good as it was fresh so I'm not letting that affect my score. This was slightly more sweet and less dry fresh. Still a good beer, but not for sitting around. However, the 7% is still very noticeable as it was fresh and the beer still tastes slightly hot in the throat. All in all, my favorite pumpkin beer.

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my Sam Adams glass. It poured a deep amber/copper color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer.

I get a good amount of pumpkin pie spice to the aroma. Clove, nutmeg and cinnamon all come out in it. Some sweeter, caramel, bready malts mix nicely with the spices. It's a nice mix, the spices aren't overpowering in it which I really appreciate.

The taste shows the pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove flavors to it as well. The malty, bready, base of the beer helps keep the spices in check. Like the aroma, the flavors are pretty well integrated overall and the spices aren't overpowering.

The mouthfeel is a little heavier then average, but pretty normal for the style and size of the beer. Carbonation is moderate. Overall it's definitely one of the better pumpkin beers of the season. I'd probably put it in the lower end of my top 5 favorite pumpkins. Very solid beer of the style all around and one we buy every year.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Nice copper color and a fizzy head that retains decently well.

s. Nose of cardamom, nutmeg and allspice. Just a hint of malty pumpkin.

t. A well balanced pumpkin beer. The spice is varied from sweet, spicy, herbal and medicinal. There is a sweet caramel malt character as well. The pumpkin is very subtle but it does make itself known.

m. High level of carbonation, medium bodied.

d. At 7% its a bit heavy, though the alcohol is not really noticable. Easy drinking, and am glad I had the oppurtunity.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin ales are a rare find here in California. This offering can't be found in Cali....yet. Bought when I was in Phoenix recently. Well, on to the beer:

It's a filtered copper orange...you can see the carbonation bubbles in the body. The head is soapy, sits about a 1/2 inch high before dropping into a thin sheet. Lots of nutmeg in the aroma. Mild pumpkin sweetness compliments the nutmeg and assorted spices. The taste, right of the bat, is very spiced. Not much of a malt base, which would help this beer. The first few sips are pleasant, but thereafter it takes a little work to get down. The beer leaves a numbling feel on parts of the palate, with a strong kick of spice as it goes down the throat.

This one packs a wallop of spice. The warming feeling feels nice, but the taste could be a little nicer.

Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure where this appeared from in January, but I'm not complaining. I had a pint (low-head) with my soup and pizza at Liberty St. Tavern. The hops have died down a bit since October, but this is still about the hoppiest pumpkin ale you can find. It starts with big, pulpy pumpkin meat in the aroma and flavor which is followed by a bitter burst of citrus. This isn't the most complexx pumpkin beer, the malts never really came out. But I'd say it's the most balanced and certainly one of the more pleasant to drink.

Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a snifter at ChurchKey DC. About time I had this beer on tap for a change.

A great clear copper hued body with a simple off white foamy head. Pretty basic, but solid and pleasing to the eyes.

A mild mix on the nose of squash like pumpkin puree, nutmeg cinnamon and brown spice, mixed with a nice bready malt action. Pretty cool.

Taste follows the nose. Squash and mushy pumpkin hits first with a cinnamon front, then gives to a nutmeg and bready hop presence on the finish. Good solid body of malt and pumpkin everything seems to fit and get a turn.

Overall this feels very balanced, and gives a good mix of what is available in a pumpkin brew.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite pumpkin beers. I really like the brown ale base, and the balance of sweeet, hoppy, pumpkin and spice. Pours copper with a thin head and not much lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie spices foremost, then fresh pumpkin and cream. Cinammon and nutmeg are predominant in the spicing. Taste is similar, but with the taste of earthy bitter hops added to the mix and running from start to finish. Spicy and creamy as well, and quite satisfying. Mouthfeel is full, creamy, and spicy and generally heftier than most of the other pumpkin beers out there. Delicious.

Photo of corby112
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber-orange with a small white head. Aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar cane. Nice amount of spice to balance out the pumpkin flavoring resulting in less of a pumpkin taste than I would have liked. Overall, a pretty good seasonal beer.

Photo of weeare138
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark amber with some faint bubbles working their way up to the top. Thin off white head drops to a small film and leaves tiny traces of lace.
Smell is of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin, along with a touch of allspice.
Taste is of all the aforementioned aromas in a chewy mix.
Mouthfeel is light-medium carbonation with a mildly sweet and bready feel.
Drinkability is decent. One of the better pumpkin beers out there.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber-gold colour, with a thickish and rocky head of white foam. It disippates slightly, but leaves some good sticky lacing. Looks not unlike an English Pale Ale. Not bad, overall.

Some resin and spice on the nose, even a slight funk - it could be the pumpkin pie spices. Definitely something organic and slightly sulphurous on the nose, it's not terribly exciting or powerful, and the notes are just off enough to make you wonder if there's something wrong.

Taste is lightly sweet, with an initial spice hint that wells up until a rather phenolic bitterness on the back, fairly redolent with alcohol fumes. The spiciness is the only thing that keeps it from being thoroughly unpleasant, and while it does a reasonable job, I can't avoid that alcohol presence, which is very much pronounced for something weighing in at only 7%. Mouthfeel has a pleasant sheen to it, but the flavour is either thin or phenolically unpleasant, so it doesn't have much to work with.

Not one of my favourite American brews, and yet again I have to say I'm disappointed with a style of beer I wish I could get to like. Have I just had bad examples?? Something tells me that there's a beautiful, wonderful pumpkin ale out there somewhere... Unfortunately, this isn't it.

Photo of Zorro
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a good looking chill hazed amber colored ale with a good lasting tan head.

Smell is very malty with a good strong scent of mulling spices. Ginger and allspice are the strongest scents in here. A bit of brown sugar and bread make up the malt part of this beer.

Taste is mild sweetness and bready with a little spice in the first sip. The base flavor of this ale is a good amber ale, on top of which are a candy like extra layer of malts and spices. Flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon, allspice and ginger are present and not so strong that they hide the herbal hops that finish the flavors. Good lingering flavor of ginger and vanilla in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very good example of a pumpkin beer, but it does have one small flaw. Tasty but the alcohol is all too prominent in this one, doesn't bug me but not everyone will tolerate it in a regular beer.

Recommended by me but your girlfriend might not like it as much as a BA will.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice amber color but the head was lacking. Nose is sweet and sticky with cinnamon, nutmeg and light pumpkin.Taste is not overpowering pumpkin like I wished but cinnamon and nutmeg were there. Mouthfeel is creamy, sordove bland in the taste and lingering. Not one of my favorites from DFH

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber orange crystal clear body with a very gentle carbonation. A thin layer of foam sits on top.

S- The light hint of banana is mixed with some faint spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. A nice lightly toasted malt backbone give it support.

T-This beer has a good light malt base with spices giving some flavor. A nice spicy hop finish is a good finish to this brown ale.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a bit of fizz in the mouthfeel. A slight alcohol warmth is in the finish also.

D- This is a good solid beer that has some spice added to it. Most beers in this style tend to put the spice before the beer. This also has a good alcohol warmth to support the malt and spices. The smell was a bit of a put-off but faded.

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Bottle from Harvest Market
Deep amber/copper color with small off white head. Aromas of caramel pie spice earth and a hint of chocolate. Sweet brown sugary with a bit of caramel and a hint of chocolate. Pie spices a subtle and balance the sweetness quite nicely. Medium body with light to moderate carbonation. I'm not usually a fan of pumpkin beer, but I could drink this one. Its a shame it took me so long to taste this one.

Photo of jdhilt
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two-fingered white head leaving a good lace, pale amber color. Light carbonation. Sweet spicy nose. Starts sweet - the brown sugar comes through - that hints of pumpkin, smooth very easy to drink. This could be a session beer except at 7% ABV one must be wary. $2.30 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Al's. Shared with ksak.

A: The pumpkin ale is a darker coppery color, a penny from the bottom of the change jar perhaps. Still transparent though, I can see through the glass. The white head is small, not worth dwelling on.

S: The nose is spicy. I mean really spicy. Nutmeg and cinnamon, nuts, brown sugar, and allspice. Packaged with all of that is a pulpy, starchy pumpkinness. Very busy but not over-spiced.

T: The taste brings the spice back with a vengeance. Cinnamon and nutmeg stand out, as do the other components of the nose. The ale feels thicker, perhaps the starches in the pumpkin are driving that. A lower carbonation level allows the spices to last just a little longer. A decent seasonal, albeit from my least favorite style.

M: A rich ale, the spices get a little heavy at times. That being said, I could see myself having another glass or two. Look at me, constantly evolving...

Photo of biegaman
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If orange is the appropriate colour for a pumpkin ale then consider this one exemplary. Its icy, unvaried orange suit is not only a winsome colour but it is furthermore coated in a glitzy luster that shoots out straight arrow beams of pumpkiny radiance. Its head, too, is praiseworthy. A thick, soapy white collar never relents and in many places has left behind little, glinty, snowflake-like specs of lacing.

It isn't hard to figure out what spices were used - Dogfish Head lists them right on the label. Brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were all thrown in, alongside actual pumpkin, too. Traces of all those ingredients can be found in the aroma as well as a sizable share of sweet, honeyed malt (which is good because although I like my pumpkin ales spicy, I like them to be able to have enough of a base to support all that spice as well).

The spices are appreciated in the flavour too - appreciated mostly because they aren't too overwhelming. An overly savory or excessively balmy beer can become overbearing, especially when it contains more than 5% alcohol. Dogfish Head seems to have done well integrating the spices (and the alcohol for that matter). As result, the beer is quenching and quaffable, much in the same mold as an IPA.

Curiously, I taste more of the pumpkin than I do the pumpkin-pie and spices. The flavour is discernibly squash-like, perhaps more so yam-like. In other words, this doesn't point to dessert with ice cream, more like main course with a side of vegetables. It isn't without sweetness, mind you. The brown sugar may be the most noted of all the adjuncts, despite the fact that the taste of allspice seems to be ever lingering.

It's tough for me to say where Punkin' Ale places on my list of favourite pumpkin ales. I'm noticing it's a fine line between those that are too spice-dependent, too perfumy and those that are too inhibited, too understated. I find Punkin' (this year's vintage anyhow) belongs with the latter, which, although in someways is better than the alternative, still doesn't seem to satisfy my urge for a hearty, savory Thanksgiving-time tipple.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazed light brown coloring that is mostly translucent. The head started massive out of the bottle, but settles into a more reasonable half inch of off-white, big bubbled, frothy head. Aromas are heavy with spice, and I could pick up a lot of nutmeg and all-spice, with a sweet pumpkin background. Flavors are roasted, and you get a great blend of the pumpkiin and malt sweetness to balance out all the spicy characteristics. The beer laces the glass heavily, and the body is smooth and creamy, with a sharpness to it from the spicing. The aftertaste is surprisingly short-lived, with a slight pumpkin pie flavor, and the finish is spiced, short and sweet. Tasty fall brew!

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong toasted grain presence with elements of coffee and brown sugar. No detectable pumpkin or pumpkin spice.

The taste featured a solid roasted grain bill. A mild caramel sweetness as well.

The mouthfeel was average.

Overall a nice BROWN ALE. I don't really get the whole pumpkin label though.

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

Pours a clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy white head which dissappears quickly, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet malts, pumpkin, nutmeg, caramel, and cinnimon. The taste is malty, slight pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnimon. There is a warm feeling of alcohol in the throat on the way down. Medium body. Drinkable, a very nice pumpkin brew, will buy more next year. I do have one more bottle for later though.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,993 ratings.