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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,544 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4544
Reviews: 1914
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.63%

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002)
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Ratings: 4,544 | Reviews: 1,914 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SheepNutz


4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep amber color with one finger of head. There is just a little bit of lacing left on the glass. Aromas of pumpkin, ginger, and nutmeg fill the top of the glass, very spicy. The taste is very subtle at first, just a little sweet. The finish has all the spice and lots of pumpkin and cinnamon coming through. The mouthfeel is very thick and strong. The drinkability is fairly nice for a 7% brew. A great seasonal treat.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 06:32:20 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of waughbrew


4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orangy-brown with good off-white head. Aroma seems to have a lot of nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar. Tastes piney and resinous, alive and fresh. Some roasted notes and dark fruits make for good complexity. Some metallic notes fade in and out, but do not distract too much.
This really strikes me as a pumpkin beer as opposed to many beers that strike me as beer with pumpkin added. Simultaneously tart and spicy, the flavor profile of this beer really works together with the solid body to make a great drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 18:50:53 | More by waughbrew
Photo of AtLagerHeads


3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Me likey this brew. The gorgeous deep orange body was joined by a nice small off-white head and decent lace effect. The light nose definitely impressed of spices and this followed in the lovely flavor that was full of nutmeg and allspice. Yep, it's pumpkin pie time and I'd love to have alongside my wife's fresh-baked pumpkin pie, just to compare the flavors.

The feel is first rate being medium and smooth with a clean and crisp finish. My drinkability rating fairly high for the ABV as this dimension simply didn't come through in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 15:22:11 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of jcalabre


3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As others may have observed, this is more like "pumpkin pie ale" than "pumpkin ale". The pumkin & spices really stand out. I like that. I'm just trying to figure out what food to have w/ this beer. This is not a session beer, because the flavor is too unique. You need to have this one with a meal. Picture a nut brown ale, with a pumpkin flavor, and the nose of cinnamon & nutmeg and you have this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2003 00:02:41 | More by jcalabre
Photo of kelticblood


3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a small head that disappeared quickly.Left a watery looking lace that wasnt too appealing.Clear amber in color.Medium bodied with good carbonation.Very spicy taste with a dry bitter finish.Its hard to make out the individual tastes of each spice.Comes across more of a ginger taste.More body,carbonation,and less spices.Leaves a wheaty and dry after taste.Not the best but not the worst Pumpkin Ale I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2003 23:17:55 | More by kelticblood
Photo of jahred


4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin ales - one of my favorite things about autumn!

Poured with a very thin head. Nice brown color - definitely is a brown ale underneath, something I'm not used to in pumpkin beers.

Very, very drinkable considering the 7% ABV, which I can't really taste. Maybe the brown ale underneath is hiding the alcohol.

Definite smell of pumpkin, nutmeg and allspice - but the brown ale is behind it all, too. Tastes of pumpkin pie - not sure what constitutes "pumpkin pie crust," but it's there in the background. But unlike other pumpking beers, it's not overwhelming - which is good. I could drink this year-round. Immediate hoppy aftertaste - and that wonderful, lingering pumpkin pie.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 23:15:52 | More by jahred
Photo of PSUDREW


4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this took me a couple of sampling to finally get the review after I bought the case.

At first taste, I though, hhmmm maybe belgian
Second try to nights later, I thougtht, yeah this is a brown
Now after the 3rd and 4th trys, respectively, I think we have a winner. Definately the pie taste. Over riding nutmeg/all-spice mixed with brown sugar. pumpkin itself is presence, but almost, not quite, but almost an afterthought.

Taste is crsip, and the spice is present

If you can find a 4-pack buy it, jusge yourself. I think my case is worth it, but I can understand the oposition.

Well played, sam, well played

****UPON FURTHER REVIEW**** (edit)
After sharing some with my friend, he came up with a very good point, the beer tastes not like pumpkin pie, as so much as it actually tastes like GINGERSNAP beer. taste for yourself

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 03:40:38 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of dedalus


2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well, this beer looks great ... reddish brown with a great tan head that sticks around for a while. moderate lacing.

great nose, too. lots of allspice and nutmeg, with hops holding up the rear.

thinnish mouthfeel, not horrible but not great, either.

hmmm. a definite lack of malt or pumpkin in the palate. kind of just hopwater with spices dumped in generously. a massive disappointment. they did a great job with the finishing touches, they just forgot to lay the foundation. i struggled to finish this one, and i wanted so much to like it. the finish, like the palate, was dominated by spices. forgive me for mixing baked goods metaphors here, but the icing on the cake doesn't count for much if there's no cake.

this brewery can and has done much better than this. by all means try it, but don't go buying a case without tasting it first.



Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 00:23:59 | More by dedalus
Photo of kunzbrew


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a slightly hazy amber color with a nice tan head, that does not last very long. A nice sexy lace is left as the head reduces. The spiced pumkin fills the nose with great pleasure. A light wheat malt aroma also comes forward.

A full bodied beer is great tasting with pumkin and spices, a light hop flavor also exist. The pumkin flavor is very over bearing but not by to much. The spices are nice and light.

This is a very good autumn beer and it is sure to keep you warm at night due to the high abv.


Serving type: bottle

10-22-2003 00:43:56 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of jazzmac


4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a quickly dissapating head. The smell is pleasant, like walking into a bakery. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin all apparent in the nose. I am not a big fan of fruit beers but this is very good. The taste of the fruit does not overpower the fact that this is a beer. Finishes with a nice flavor on the tongue of cinnamon. Overall a good beer from this excellent brewery.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 21:41:07 | More by jazzmac
Photo of Jon


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glowing amber with a fizzy, shortlasting head. Nose is an impressive blend of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and a pumpkin carving contest. All of these flavors come through on palate with an emphasis on the zesty, spicy characteristics of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Spritzy carbonation entices the tongue. Perhaps the most viscous, full-bodied mouthfeel I've noticed in a pumpkin beer. Warming alcohol is noticeable on the prolonged finish. This is a well-done, drinkable pumpkin ale that sets itself apart from others. The spices and alcohol content keep this beer from becoming overly drinkable and refreshing, however.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 03:29:57 | More by Jon
Photo of oldgrowth

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2003 01:41:12 | More by oldgrowth
Photo of Dantes

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Package: 12 oz. crowned brown bottle. Parchment-colored, pumpkin-tinged label describing a brown ale with pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg. Listed at 7% ABV. Notched at 04 (Oct. 4?).

Cost: $6.99 (!) per 4-pack at Bottle King

Presentation: Shaker pint at ~45º

Appearance: Poured an appropriate pumpkin-orange with a crystal-clear body. A vigorous pour generated a medium-dense head that resolved down to a thin foam slick leaving some lace.

Smell: This has a whole heck of a lot going on. The nose is sweet in the forefront, quickly trailed by a complex cocktail of easily distinguishable spices including cinnamon and allspice. Brown ale base provides some nuttiness and autumnal refulgence.

Taste: Excellent flavor. Unlike many brewers who start with an austere pale ale, DFH astutely chose to base this on a brown ale, giving it a good base to compete with the full-flavored pumpkin and spice elements. The pumpkin flavor is full and natural, unlike the harsh brews seemingly flavored by extracts. The brown ale contributes a moderate toastiness with some nut flavors. These are capped by the rich pumpkin leavened by the noticeable cinnamon and the more subtle nutmeg and allspice. It all comes together very well in a rich but not cloying brew. The flavor improves as the beer warms, although the finish is a bit marred by an overly-hopped, clashing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Despite all the goings on, this beer had a medium body, allowing one to enjoy several in a sitting. The carbonation is perhaps a bit harsh, but I suppose it combats any tendency for the beer to become cloying.

Drinkability: With a relatively high 7.0% ABV, this could be dangerous, as the alcohol only became apparent in the pleasant buzz in my head after the second one. Especially for a “fruit” beer, this is very drinkable.

Backwash: This is probably the best pumpkin ale I’ve ever had, closely approximating what I remember of the one I had at Rodney’s years ago. As I mentioned in my Post Road review(before knowing about this), the Rodney’s version was also based on a brown ale, which made for a more successful result. This beer really transcends its status as a “seasonal novelty” beer and becomes something I’d be happy to have almost anytime. My one cavil is that it is too hoppy, which competes with the other flavors. I’d prefer a slightly gentler British-style brown ale feel. To see if the hops mellow, I plan to put one away to age. Pricey.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2003 19:07:26 | More by Dantes
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2003 15:06:43 | More by Gavage
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper amber orang when held to the light forms with a cream colored relatively thin head that leaves behind speckled lacing. Aroma: First thing evident is the spices nutmeg and cinnamon with some mild pumpkin tones. Taste: One of the better ones I have had this fall not as resdiually sweet or cloyingly syrupy lacking some of the pumpkin flavor that others have more of but the spices are dead on here along with a decent kick in the acohol department at 7%abv that's not too shabby. Mouthfeel: Some residual stickiness still has the syrupy extract like feel but this one's not nearly as bad as some of the other pumpkin ales out there, good carbonation enjoyable. Drinkability: A definite one at a time beer but to be enjoyed surely every fall.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2003 23:18:50 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of xgrigorix


3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce brown bottle, 2003 release.

Amber with a touch of gold, obsured by a slight chill haze. Thin off white head did not stick around very long. Smells like the spice cabinet in my kitchen. Everything that the label promises - allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Whiffs of alcohol round out the nose. Tastes like pumpkin pie made without any sugar. Mollasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, & just a bit of the pumpkin to remind you. Dry finish goes on & on.
This made for an excellent snakebite.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 17:03:11 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of rabidawg


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange-copper with constant, active carbonation. Small, white head that settled to a clinging skim. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Loads of sensory data here, with all the traditional pumpkin pie aromas. Nutmeg dominates, with slight fusel alcohol esters in the background. Smells almost Belgian.

Taste: Spicy sweetness up front, with warm cinnamon and soft nutmeg. Noticeable alcohol. The slightest metallic twinge after the first sip, but which faded after that. Finishes with a gingerbread flavor and a mouth-tightening bitterness.

Notes: Soft, warming, and spicy, this is a nice pumpkin ale. I'm not as excited with it as I thought I would be, but it's a must-try for the fall season.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 00:53:35 | More by rabidawg
Photo of far333


3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with an off-white bubbly head that settles quickly. Nose is equal parts punkin and spice, and just a bit of alcohol, plus some sweet honey and toffee. Flavor is very balanced between punkin, malts, and spices. Would have liked more pumpkin to come through though. Finishes a bit sweet, with sweet pear and alcohol tingling the mouth in the finish. Pretty good, but not as good as I expected.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 00:32:25 | More by far333
Photo of nomad


3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful color, phenomenally shiny, that shifted slowly from gold edges to deep but lustrous amber in the middle. Had a thin and simple soft head, sat very well, with thick and slow lace that leaft a stain of sloppy but wide horizontal strings and splotches. A good looking glass of beer, no doubt.

Smelled of soft pumpkin, moderate toffee malts, with notes of sweet cinnamon and hearty nutmeg poking up, as well as small hints of cinnamon. Inviting autumnal scents. Taste was of wet and full caramel malt washed over by dry and spicy accents. There was a nascent vegetable flavor through out the middle of this beer, having the chewy and even core of the meat of raw pumpkin. I recognized the allpsice the most, but felt the nip of the nutmeg more. Finish was drying and not the greatest, hurting the drinkability more than the taste.

Pretty good for a fruit/vegetable beer spiked with spices.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2003 20:18:20 | More by nomad
Photo of ManekiNeko


3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, chilled, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear.. well... pumpkin orange color topped by a small beige head that dissipates rather quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice smells are quite prominent. Light caramel malt in the background. A great autumnal smell.

Taste: Aforementioned spices, then a bit of sweetness, followed by bitterness. Most of the flavor is from the non-standard beer ingredients.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a flash in the pan taste, but there is a numbing sensation from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Chew on a cinnamon stick or a clove and you'll know what I mean.

Drinkability: This is kind of a weird beer, as are most pumpkin ales. Worth a try if you consider yourself a beer geek. I picked this up for an impromptu beer tasting for a group of friends. We all found it interesting, but I don't think anyone was overly impressed. I'm finding it hard to finish the bottle. This is definitely one to share.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2003 03:17:19 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweetish bubblegum, pumpkin hinted nose. very clear filitered bubbly light orange look. Very lively in the glass. Upfront a smooth pumpkin nutmeg, and cinnamon taste dominates but then the second layor of flavor is crisp and has a hip sting.. not flowery or citrusy hops... clean stings of hops. Also after you swallow the spice and slight white pepper dryness (abv) stays on the tongue. The more you sip the beer the more prominent the pumpkin stands out. Lively coating mouth slightly viscous to the tongue. A nice treat for an October night. This would be something you either like or hate.. and well... I like it..

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2003 01:31:30 | More by frank4sail
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say this one is the best pumpkin ale I have had a real nice brew.Pours a burnt orange color with a real nice creamy 1/2 inch head that leaves some nice lacing,aroma is of some serious nutmeg and cardimum with light cinnamon notes.Taste hits with a real pumpkin flavor with the sices hitting after the initial pumpkin flavor so you get the whole spectrum of flavors.A great all around beer definently with the weather changing right now.Very nice,had at Tavern 616 in North Wales,PA.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2003 18:49:31 | More by oberon
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a beige colred head sporting short head retention that settles quickly onto clear amber/light red liquid ( the label says this is a brown ale...but I don't see anything brown about it). Nose is spicy with nutmeg and allspice, malt and hop...with slight "punkin' " aromas lastly. The taste is a sharp blast of goodly hop bitters followed by some ale yeast-based fruitiness, sweet malts, spiciness and a touch of alcohol which leads into the finish, which is lip-smackingly bitter and long. The most bitter example of pumpkin ale I've had the pleasure to drink...a hop-heads' pumpkin ale if you will.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2003 00:47:34 | More by beerluvr
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Someone should send a bottle of this to Shipyard, so they understand what a "Punkin" Ale is supposed to taste like. It pours an orange tinted amber with a fading white head. Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, malt and alcohol fumes (in that order) make up the aroma. The malt body could use a bit more oomph, but it's far more substantial than that weak-ass Shipyard. Flavors of pumpkin pie come to mind - as it should. Pumpkin and cinnamon dominate, as allspice, sugar and nutmeg offer a nice supporting touch. A mild lime-like bitterness seems almost out of place, but after a few gulps, seems to fit in with the "Punkin" gang. Warming alcohol provides the expected punch when you smell and taste it.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2003 02:21:26 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear red amber colored brew with a small, but well-retained head on top. Pumpkin pie hit my nose first followed by a delicious array of seasonal spices. Allspice and cinnamon were the two main ones I could pick out, but the blend is so nice, that they all seem to come together. It reminds me of Halloween, and how much I hate pumpkin pie, but somehow enjoy this beer.

Crisp carbonation starts you into what becomes a very smooth bodied beer. It is pretty full in that category, and it is loaded with complex flavors. Pumpkins do not dominate, but you can get a good taste of them. The spices are the real story here, and the perfect balance of the flavors creates a really great brew. I had a small sample of this at Sippin' By the River, and everyone was shocked when I said " this is pretty good". I was a full out pumpkin hater before this beer. After a pint on draught, I may never look upon a pumpkin ale negatively again. A very nice brew indeed.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2003 18:23:35 | More by ElGuapo
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 4,544 ratings.