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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,994 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,994
Hads: 6,016
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 342
Gots: 997 | FT: 8
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
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Reviews: 1,994 | Hads: 6,016
Photo of twilight
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep beautiful orange into the glass with a note of spice in the nose. I kind of smell a slight pumpkin aroma, but don't really know if I'm reading into the beer or if it is really there. The taste is spicy. Good and strong, with the spices being mellowed out by the malt backbone. The funny thing is that I think I taste pumpkin, which I haven't been able to in other pumpkin ales I've had in the past. Consider this, the spices are reminiscent of Thanksgiving, mixed in with the hops, and the malt backbone has that pumpkin roundness so that it is like being transplanted from IPA land to the dessert table on your favorite November holiday. The aftertaste is of banana peel and cloves, but not in that Hefeweizen way, more in that bitter way that hoplovers would find interesting.

The funny thing is that it is very drinkable, actually superb, but the pumpkin thing just brings you back to that one time of year. Perhaps if it were different, then it would be different. But alas and alack.... Mouthfeel is nice. The aftertaste leaves that umami sensation in your mouth, o you really can't complain. Though some may call this a novelty beer, it could gain acceptance if people would shake their associations with Thanksgiving. All in all, another superb offering from DFH. (1,286 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to try this one. Poured out a copper, ruby-like color but didn't have anything special for a head on it. I must say that the color is quite impressive. Aroma is pretty much assumed in this style of beer. I thought it was nice and balanced but not a lot of depth to it. The thing I liked about the taste of this beer is that it actually had a pumpkin taste to it and not overloaded with spice. Granted, I love spiced beer, but it was nice to have a pumpkin ale and not have it focused on the spices. Very enjoyable beer and smooth for 7% abv. Glad I bought a 4 pack, but not my favorite pumpkin ale. (611 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange-brownish pour with a little bit of head. Very balanced aroma consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and bread malts. The taste was outstanding. Same as the aroma, nutmeg and cinnamon, but this is where the PUMPKIN really shines through. Perfect for those cool fall evenings. This is a beer that I hope will still be available to me when November and December come rolling around. A must try! (396 characters)

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

Draught @ CTRiver Brewers Festival: This may be the best "Pumpkin" beer that I have had yet. This one pours an orangish-amber color, with almost no head. There is a wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie spices. Also some maltiness in there too. The taste is a nice blend of the pumpkin spices with a good malty beer. Some hops also. This was really excellent. (352 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange-amber in color, very clear. A light head

Strong pumpkin pie aromas as promised, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Also present are some biscuit-like malt aromas. No discernable hop.

This is a very sweet beer although I now can detect some bitter hop in the swallow. This is a rich ale with a high carbonation--definitely chewy. Strangely lacking flavor (other than sweetness) in the mouth, but the aftertaste is quite complex with the spice and bitterness really coming through.

I'm having this beer in a flight of pumpkin ales (a New England specialty, it appears). I'm not a big fan of sugary beers, like scotch ale. That said, this might be an excellent dessert beer after a hearty meal because it is not sickly sweet. Perhaps a true specialty beer. (768 characters)

Photo of bultrey
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just a good pumpkin ale right here. Got a pint from supposedly the first tapped keg of this year's batch at Blind Tiger in Manhattan. This pumpkin ale is sweeter and maltier than the only other I have for recent comparison, which is the Smuttynose Pumpkin. There are nice hints of allspice, clove, and maybe cinnamon. The beer also finishes quite dry with a very earthy pumpkin flavor. A Dogfish Head guy (owner, I think?) was at the bar, and gave a little summary of the beer, saying something about fermenting the natural sugars in the pumpkin flesh, which I would imagine contributes to this quality. Anyway, I thought this beer was highly drinkable for a pumpkin ale, and if I wasn't at the Blind Tiger with so many other brews to choose from, I could have knocked back a few more. I'll certainly be aiming to do just that again sometime this fall. (852 characters)

Photo of danadeny
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color with a hint of red. Odors of light nutmeg and pumpkin, maybe a little brown sugar. Malty sweet flavor at first. Light pumpkin pie flavor in the middle. And light alcohol and hop finish. Overall a balanced approach, nothing too hardcore. (254 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours amber that fades to orange around the edges. It has a white head that quickly fades.

Smell: Hops first, then spices (nutmeg and allspice) with some cinnamon as it warms. Also a bit of pepper is present but it doesn't overpower the other spices.

Taste: Hints of cinnamon, clove, a touch of pepper with a sweet pumpkin finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp and tight. Very refreshing.

Drinkability and overall: Finely crafted and nicely balanced. Hops, spices, and some sweetness (from the pumpkin or malt, not sure) all manage to co-exist in perfect harmony. This is definitely a unique brew and a good way to get ready for fall. (645 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice deep orange color with a good head that seemed to linger.Good aroma-a really nice mix of spice,malt and pumpkin.Very good malt flavor upfront.The pumpkin actually comes thru in this one-the spices are subtle though definately present-especially compared to some of the other pumpkin brews.Full bodied as is found with most of the Dogfish brews. A very drinkable beer.So far Id have to say if youre looking for a pumpkin brew,try this one. (457 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out a slightly hazy amber hue with a light tan head of decent size. The head drops to a cap of bubbles leaving little lacing on the glass. The aroma smells of nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin spice, almost exactly like pumpkin pie. The taste had a lot of the same spice elements in it with a bit of malty sweetness like brown sugar. The aftertaste had a nice spice lingering about. I will have to try this with some pumpkin pie because it tastes great and would go perfect of course. The mouthfeel was about average with a light to medium body. Drinkability basically depends on how much you like pumpkin pie type dishes, in my case this is a very drinkable beer that I look forward to each year. Definitely give this one a shot especially if you are looking for a pumpkin ale. (785 characters)

Photo of carln26
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ahh, autumn. I love this time of year. The cool, crisp nights (it’s actually 90 degrees in Boston today), the colorful leaves. Most importantly, fall beer: Octoberfests and Pumpkin Ales. I started out with Dogfish Head Punkin ale this year. It poured a medium brown with just a slight head, and a mild lace. You can catch a hint of the cinnamon the nose before the nutmeg hits you. It’s the spice that dominates. This carries over into the taste. Nutmeg up front, and pumpkin in the middle. Just a touch of the malt on the back end. It has a medium mouthfeel. With the spice flavors, this would seem to be a great “warmer”. I’m not sure I could drink to many of these though do to the heavy spice influence. (712 characters)

Photo of RocketWidget
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Holy crap, this is quite literally pumpkin pie in a bottle! My first pumpkin beer, but not my first fruit/vegetable, and I'm fairly impressed with it.

Pours a (what else) pumpkin-orange color, with light and lacy cream colored head. Smell is of nutmeg and cinnamon. The bottle claims that the beer is brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and they are right; I can identify each flavor in the brew! Not much hops to note. This is a fun brew to find, especially if you find a four pack on sale for four bucks like I did. However, I won't be making this a regular brew, as I can't drink many of these before longing for more traditional beer. A good idea for Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps? (721 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper body with a medium cream-colored head that fades into a creamy ring around a stormy weather pattern. The aroma is really more spice than pumpkin, but the spice isn’t overwhelming. There’s a slightly cake-like and caramel malt underneath. The flavor is lightly sweet and mostly balanced except for a bitterness that doesn’t seem to quite fit in with the rest of the flavors. I’ve had better pumpkin ales. (420 characters)

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

This is an '03 bottle but tastes fine..actually better than fine...too many of these Pumpkin beers are thin and soapy tasting with artificial pumpkin flavors...this is thick, full bodied...with great natural flavors...drinking this makes me long for my favorite season of fall..the flavors are subtle but there is a multitude of them...brown sugar sweetness is the first thing I notice on the taste...followed by a soft nutmeg flavor and it closes with a strong blast of licorice...the nose is big on the cinnamon....this is a quality beer....7% no less....I wish I could access a 12er of this every fall for enjoying from time to time...perhaps my favorite pumpkin beer...this brewery contines to impress me...wish I had easier access...I don't have a set top 10 list of brewers but these guys would have to make it based on the variety and quality of their brews...

Scores are per style...based on the fact no-one has been close to them on this style.. (957 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Crystal clear brown with faint white head.


Like pumpkin pie with nutmeg and pumpkin predominating.

Malty and sweet with clove, pumpkin and nutmeg bursting forth on the palate. One of the better pumpkin ales around during the fall. (281 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know it’s not really the season for this beer but what the heck. I might have been even more let down if I tried it around Halloween. Pours a luminescent orange/copper color with a medium thin beige head. Head retention is pretty weak, and thin lacing. The aroma is spiced with cinnamon and ginger, as well as malt. The mouthfeel is kind of syrupy and sweet, with malt, cinnamon and brown sugar flavors. It becomes overbearing at times. The finish retains the sweet character and is pumpkiny (?) and malty. This is a decent seasonal, it is just a little too much in the sweet department at times. (599 characters)

Photo of AndIWantYou
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite a tasty spiced beer. I can really taste the allspice and cinnamon flavors the whole time the beer is in my mouth; I like the creaminess and the carbonation as I think they add to the experience. Smells OK, nothing to write home about but certainly tasty. This beer reminds me of Harpoon's Winter Warmer, one of my favorite holiday brews. (343 characters)

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a hard time finding this stuff in NY for some reason, picked some up at New England Beverage Co. during Extreme Beer but had to sacrifice it to the Beer Gods to get Slander's dead jeep out of R.I. Luckily, I was able to get more at NEBC on the way to AOBF.

Pours golden-orange with a transient head, smells like butter squash and ginger. Very sweet and sugary taste of ginger, allspice, and pumpkin seeds with a great mild hoppiness and cinnamon flavor that makes it splicy in the mouth, but leaves a clean finish. A bit too sweet to be especially drinkable, but I can't think of any pumpkin brew (except maybe Southampton) that I could drink more than 2 of anyway. Worth dragging all the way home though. (712 characters)

Photo of scottum
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a brown amber with a big off-white head. I do taste the pumpkin, butI wish I tasted it more. Balance is solid, and flavor is tasty-good. Certainly a beer whichh I enjoy drinking, but not up there with my favorite pumpkin beers. Try it, itisquite easyto driinkkk. (272 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not surprisingly, a hazed glowing orange appearance. Slight beige head with good retention. Lace is droopy and fairly abundant. This one's got a really nice pumpkin pulp aroma with hardly any spicing noticed on the nose...which is good. A little cinnamon. The mouthfeel has a pleasant feel with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Body seems to be about medium full. The flavors are primarily sweet. Pumpkin pulp, sweet molasses, carmelized sugar. Good stuff. And the spicing is subdued, but nice. Again, the cinnamon comes to the forefront.

This is really a pretty good pumpkin ale, even in April.

I thank Mr. Cokes for the sample. (642 characters)

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

Poured an orangy copper color with minimal head and adequate lacing.

The smell was like a spice cake. Pumpkin, nutmeg and maybe a little carrot taste.

The flavor was great, like drinking a spice or carrot cake. A wonderful mix of spices, pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg and other related flavors. The only complaint is a strong nutmeg and allspice aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is smooth with the flavors introducing themselves gently and fading slowly. If not for that little aftertaste, it would be perfect.

A nice beer for something different, as with many other flavored beers, I wouldn't recommend consuming more than one or two. The flavors aren't good in large amounts. (685 characters)

Photo of ark57
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a cloudy orange. It is warming for those cool fall nights and has a pumpkin spice aroma. The taste was of nutmeg and cinnamon finishing off with brown sugar. The alcohol content was too overwhelming. The spices were not well balanced with the maltiness. The aftertaste was great, but the beer itself was just okay. (327 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a hazy glowing orange. Backlit, it turns a fiery shade of cinnamon, brightened by the suspended yeast pour, topped with a thin, scattered, off white mist. I poured the beer into a belgian style tulip goblet, which usually creates a healthy froth of head, but this quickly dropped into a medium sized collar, with a tight swirl of mist in the middle. No lace. I suppose the lack of head retention could be attributed to the alcohol and lack of hop presence. The color is spectacular, easily a 5 if there was a better head.
The aroma is very spicy and rich. Plenty of toasty caramel malt is boosted by a well spiced pumpkin pie blend. The ginger is very apparent, along with nutmeg. Some cinnamon adds a whiff of fireball candy, with perhaps a bit of brown sugar. Not too much in the way of actual pumpkin, if anything, more or less just the spices. No apparent hops. It reminds me of going to my grandmother's house when i was little and opening the spice cabinet, just standing on a chair inhaling the cacaphony of exotic aromas and looking at the strange little bottles and leaves wrapped in paper. Bright oranges, dull greens, and earthen browns.
The flavor starts with a pleasantly toasty caramel maltiness, riding all the way through the sip. The spices come in immediately, with cinnamon and brown sugar lending a spicy sweetness. Perhaps a bit of squash in the middle, with a slight ginger tang that grows steadily into the finish. Just a hint of cookie dough yeastiness. The brown sugar remains throughout, somewhat like belgian candi sugar in it's placement. A bit of ginger spiciness, along with a mild nutmeg bite, make up the finish. It blends nicely with the caramel malt, creating a feel not unlike liquid pumpkin pie. A fog of boozey alcohol adds a slight tingle to the finish, numbing the tongue slightly, reminding oneself of it's rather potent alcohol content. A faint saccharine sweetness in the aftertaste, coupled with assertive ginger, creates an almost artificial flavor. Similar to a fireball candy after a plate of sushi. The beer is fairly big bodied, I'd say on the portly side of medium, but easily carried by a sparkly, boisterous carbonation. A bit cloying overall, particularly in the finish, with a sugary feel throughout. One bottle of this is quite enough for me.
One of, if not the biggest, seasonal pumpkin ales out there. Perhaps a bit over-wrought, with too much spiced sweetness. I feel like I'm drinking a candy store, especially when it warms up. Perhaps a bit more punkin and grainy malt, and less allspice and brown sugar. I can appreciate the effort and laud the inventiveness, but it's not for me. Well worth the money for the pack, for the experience alone, but I'll stick with marzens come september. (2,764 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Allspice. Fascinating stuff.

The first thing I did after opening this beer was to go sniff a bowl in my sink. That might seem kind of an odd thing to be doing after opening a beer. But it's not: This evening I made chicken shawarma sandwiches.

That probably doesn't clarify much. So let me explain: In the marinade for the sandwiches, I use allspice, cardamom, yogurt, and vinegar. And the sweet, balanced, spicy aroma that marches through my nostrils after leaving the marinade bowl is the same damn thing I'm smelling in this beer. Must be the allspice, even though I only use like 4 friggin granules of spice in the recipe. Quite an astonishing comparison though.

So that gives you an idea. The spices really shine through here -- pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. (Duh.) One might think that such an infusion of those types of flavors would lead to an overly sweet, unbalanced, undrinkable brew. Really, it's the opposite. The sweetness is matched, harnessed, and played upon beautifully. And it results in one of the best, easiest-to-drink beers I've had in a while.

Second best pumpkin beer I've ever had -- the first being Kuhnhenn's bottled take on the style. (1,188 characters)

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

I've had this beer in my fridge for about 4 months. The aroma is dominated by nutmeg and pumpkin, maybe even some clove. Off-white head leaves a little lace as it fades to a film. Transparent amber colored beer with an orange hue. The pumpkin pie aroma carries over into the flavor, but isn't as strong. There's some hops down there that can't quite make it to the surface. It's not as thick as the aroma suggests, the flavor is pretty strong but doesn't stick to your tongue, I wouldn't call the finish clean, but it doesn't hang around long either. It definitely leans more towards the pumpkin pie end with spices present. Loads of flavor and aroma are probably too much for half the beer drinkers out there. If you don 't like pumpkin pie stay away, otherwise I'd say drink it closer the bottling date so the hops have a fighting chance. (840 characters)

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,994 ratings.