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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,061 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,061
Hads: 6,322
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 354
Gots: 1,227 | 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: 2,061 | Hads: 6,322
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with a thin white head. Aroma of pumpkin and spice is echoed in the taste. Smooth and not too heavy, which is nice for the style. Instead of a molasses-baked sticky-sweet brew (which wouldn't be bad, either), this is like pumpkin pie light. Pretty easy drinking, but not too complex, with just enough cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices to keep it interesting.

Solid, but not spectacular.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown with a nearly non-existent tan head that rings the glass. There is some lace left on the glass.

There is a definite spice aroma to this brew--nutmeg is the most prominent, followed by cinammon and cloves. A sweet caramel malt joins in as well. This is a nice smelling beer.

The taste is sweet and spicy and a bit nutty in the mouth (pardon the Austin Powers reference). The finish is punctuated by a slight touch of alcohol. As it warms, there is an almost roasted malt flavor in the finish. Very nice.

This is a pretty thin beer for a seasonal. However, the flavor counters the lack of "substance" in this beer. You can really sense the hops in the finish--they are not obnoxious but assertive enough to balance the sweetness of this beer.

This is a good Pumkin beer--it is not overwhelmingly sweet but a very nice example of the style. I thought this was a very good beer that was worthy of another sample.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brew with a short-lived head. Very little carbonation. Smell like a spice cabinet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and some lingering malt and a lot of alcohol as it warms. Doesn't sell like pumpkin pie to me though it does remind you of the season.

Taste is nice, a little spicy, a lot of alcohol, doesn't taste like a bear. More like a special mixed drink. Not bad. Great season brew. Has a real nice light mouth taste with just a nip of spice after taste. I might drink two, but no more. Then, I don’t think the folks at Dogfish Head thought they were brewing a session beer.

This is one of the better special flavor beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.79/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours out to a sparkingly clear orange(pumpkin)-amber, forming a soapy off-white head with good retention and average lacing. Aroma is spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg, reminding me of a Xmas ale which I brewed many years back (I hated it so all my friends drank it)..no real pumpkin aroma. A touch of smoky ham becomes evident when swirled, and is the best part of this brew. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is soft with a medium-dense body. Taste starts with off-putting herbal hops, followed by the nauseating spices, followed by amber malt husk bitterness, brown sugar alcohol bleh, and nasty Dogfish Head ruddiness. Aftertaste is limited to wet cardboard, diacetyl yuck, a mouthfull of copper pennies and sickening spice.

This beer sucks pumpkin ass.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, packaged in 04. Pours a slight hazy amber liquid with a thick foamy off-white head. A few small bubbles coming off the bottom of the glass. Good head retention, there was a fair amount of lace on the glass. Smells of pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Sweet toasty malt combined with the spices make for an interesting brew. Only slight bitterness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good mouthfeel, not overly carbonated like other pumpkin brews. This is the best of the pumpkin beers that I have tasted. Nice mix of spices with a slightly darker, more flavorful malt character than most. Decent drinkability, but really isn't a session beer. Another hit from DFH.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - golden orange hue, a finger or so of thick soapy head, leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma - cinnamon and sweet spices. Fades after initial burst to a light cinnamon and spice aroma.

Taste - lots of spice, mostly cinnamon. The pleasantries of pumpkin pie are abruptly, if not expectedly, hit by a hefty dose of hops. There's enough malt to contribute to a toasty, mellow spiced aftertaste. Warming alcohol notes at the end as well and the occasional detection of brown sugar. Always the unique style interpretation from DFH. I could use less hops, but the abv makes for a nice winter-type warmer.

Mouthfeel - heavier body, alcohol-induced vapory residue. A cut above.

Drinkability - good stuff, but not my favorite. A good Halloween beer for next year's party, but a little too pricy for regular consumption.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good Thanksgiving beer by the always-nutty brewers at Dogfish Head.

Appearance: Pumpkin bronze; Good off-whit head which sustained nicely.
Smell: Heavy and pleasant autumnal spicing (clove/cinammon), easily conveyed by the aroma.
Taste: Wonderfully spiced beer. The label states allspice, nutmeg, etc. and I agree. There may be some carapils malt here that add a base sweetness, but the spices win the day. There is a nice bitter finish, suggesting a pretty darn good hop presence.
Mouthfeel: Nicely balanced -- not at all cloying, but not thin or watery either. The palatte is left with a great cornacopia of wonderful spices.
Drinkability: Very good. Not to sound cliched or trite, this is one pumpkin ale that gets my respect. Very complex.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was sent by clvand0, as part of a trade that has provided good beer in spades so far. After drinking a few bottles of Post Road Pumpkin Ale this year, I have realized that these beers have to be warmed up close to room temperature, before they become truly enjoyable, so that’s how I am going to do it.

The pour was clear, and orange in color with a fizzy head that vanished pretty rapidly. On par with the other pumpkin ales I’ve tried in terms of the looks.

The aroma had the pumpkin pie effect going, with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg mingled in with pumpkins.

The taste was light and spicy, with the pumpkin pie flavor, and some hop bitterness. Alcohol was only an afterthought, however at 7%, it is not too shabby.

Nice beer with a singular mission. Not my favorite taste in a beer, but enjoyable enough for an occasional detour.

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Photo of bigbubba
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice dark amber beer with a very small tan head. There was a sediment at the bottom which I didn't pour into my glass. It smells like a good ale, but with a heavy nutmeg aroma. This isn't as bad as many other Pumpkin beers I've tried. The taste is ok, I just don't like this kind of crap in my beer. The mouthfeel is good, without the decent body and 7% alcohol this beer would be undrinkable (by me). As for drinkability, yeah I might have another one- next year.

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

This is the best pumpkin ale i've ever had. That isn't saying much. I didn't even add my reviews of Buffalo Bill's and New Holland's because they were completely negative.

Darker than true pumpkin, Punkin' is also lighter than the brown ale it partially claims to be on the bottle. A poofy head on a very vigorous pour and none on a pedestrian pour. No lace.

Hints of brown sugar about on the nose, with a bit of fishy pumpkin. Heavy cinammon and nuts as well.

The taste is like most pumpkin ales, a liquefied Gingerbread cookie. But in DFH's model the hops keep everything interesting and prickly. Lots of herbally biting hop to shut up the cookie quality of the style.

Mouthfeel's a bit astringent with all the spices and hops.

Mildly drinkable - a complement, IMO, to the style!

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Photo of steinlifter
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a light amber, slight head with little retention, smell was very interesting, pumpkin and spices!, taste followed, really nice, and light as well, mouthfeel was fairly thin, drinkability I would rate as high! very nice, captures the spirit of the season beautifully!
best pumpkin ale I've had yet!!!

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Photo of ken3c
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So Clear I can read through my pint glass. Copper color with a solid layer of creamy foam. There is some slight lacing.

Pumpkin pie spice aromas with some serious fruity smells. There is another smell that took me awhile to pin down: Brown sugar. I used to put it on everything: cereal, peanut butter sandwich or just straight. I've never had this smell in a beer. I love it.

A sweet brown sugar taste is followed by bananas oranges and bitter orange peel like finish.

Medium carbonation, medium body and warming.

It seems like they threw everything but the kitchen sink in this beer. Some things work quite well. Others are just a distraction.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer.
From the respected Dogfish Head brewery, I would expect a well crafted beer.
This pours a clear tawny orange. Kinda what you'd think a pumpkin beer should look like. There's a thin, rapidly fading head from which arises the aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin pie.
The flavor echoes the aroma with a strong malt backgound and just a touch of balancing hops rounds it out. There are hints of spice, but not too sweet.
This a clean, soft beer that goes down easily. I'd rate it as highly drinkable and a nice addition to the holiday fare.

Overall, I liked this one. A good showing from this good brewery.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Streaming bubble active body holds up a light tan head that mostly hazes over (into long-lasting drifts) a bold orange body. I thought to myself that it was a good color for a pumpkin ale.

Allspice rocks the nostrils and made me think that this would taste like a particularly spicy pumpkin pie. If there was such a thing as allspice candy, it would taste like this beer smells. Also some dry thickness in the background.

Tastes not nearly as spicy or sweet as the nose portended. Round and excellently mellow. Taste is set up as a combination of sweet and flavorful and dry and hoppy. Full mouth flavor of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice--tinged with sweetness quickly shifts over to a spicy, dry hop aftertaste. Sweet malt medium body. Very balanced brew and the alcohol being mostly imperceptible. Mellow and mild.

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

A clean amber beer with a foamy off white head that flattens out quickly. The aroma is mostly pumpkin with subtle hints of spice in the background. I belive I could pick up cinnamon as the predominate spice. The spices start off the taste, wrapping themselves around the tip of your tongue. This is quickly followed by the sweet pumpkin flavor finishing off on the back of your tongue.

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Photo of Winter
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown with a fluffy off-white head. Aroma consists of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg and "punkin". Mouthfeel is full-bodied. Biscuity malt, pumpkin and a slight sweetness upfront. Cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spices follow. The 7% alcohol is noticable in the finish.

This is one of the more solid pumpkin beers I've tried. I like the combination of added pumpkin spice and flavor to a brown ale. The slightly higher abv, than most other pumpkin ales, is fitting for a cool autumn night.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This herbal American brown ale base balances well with fresh flavors of candied ginger and nutmeg. With a medium light body and dry, nearly tannic brown sugar finish, the spices clean up nicely -- this is not Christmas pudding.

The color is gorgeous with nearly no haze contributed from the starchy, beer-unfriendly pumpkin. In my head, I like to think the gourd is actually adding something to this beer because, though the spices are so wonderfully controlled, there is a long, lingering element of pumpkin pie that goes beyond the spices.

Beer first, Punkin comes to rely on the alcohol as it warms with a growing, Colheita-like emergence of toasted walnuts and almonds as well as dried berries. Though only 7%, the overall dryness of this beer leaves it open the torturesome nuance of truth -- everything that is in this beer is clearly revealed, from the spices and chocolately malt to the grassy 60 Minute IPA-like hops and dry adjunct.

If I take anything away from this beer, it's the nose so fresh of clove you'd think this were a hefe, yet so subtle and elegant that pies and reindeer never come to mind.

Relax, relax.

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

Poured this one out on a cool fall evening after raking leaves and watching college football on TV. This one pours out to a dark gold, almost brown in the glass with a slight head. The aroma is that of spice, which reminded me of a cross between a pumpkin pie baking and a pork roast loaded with thyme and rosemary. Weird? Yes, but true. The taste is quite good, with a nice dose of malt mixing with the spices. One of the best pumpkin ales I've tried.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours an awesome orange color. It's clear with not much head at all. I get a mild spice aroma off this, with malt and maybe some pumpkin, sorry punkin', in the background. The flavor is definitely sweet with a nice toasted malt flavor carrying through to a spice finish. The spices seem more of a mouthfeel than an actual flavor, without any one spice dominating or even coming through at all. It finishes a little warming. Overall this is a decent pumpkin beer.

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Photo of 99bottles
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 Version. Has a neck label reading "Punk" this year. After seeing it mispelled so many times, I suppose they wanted to make known the difference between Punkin' and Pumpkin.

This beer pours a nice clear orange-copper color with a 1.5" head of off white. Head retention is slightly above average, and a tight quarter inch stays throughout the drink. The smell is of nutmeg first, then pumpkin. Lots of spices in this beer, but they don't really get in the way as in other pumpkin ales. The taste is balanced with real malts giving ground and imparting a sweetness that does very well with the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. A nice pumpkin flavor lingers in the aftertase. Body is well carbonated, and drinks lightly. 7% alcohol is well concealed. It's easy to have more than one of these. I look forward to it each year.

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Photo of putnam
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am indebted to reca for giving me the chance to test this beer before deciding to stock a case in my very space-limited retail set.

The aromas of this orange/tawny liquid are of split, mashed and boiled grains. Starchy and beery. On the palate it is creamy-textured and admirably balanced between bitter malty beer flavors -- reminiscent of a run-of-the-mill amber or brown ale. Subtle spiciness and gord-flavors can be decoded from the experience, but it requires some effort.

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

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a slightly malty scent which is overpowered with pumpkin and nutmeg aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a very smooth pumpkin flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit warm. It has a complex array of seasonings along with excellent balance. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good pumpkin ale. This and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale are among the best.

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Photo of clvand0
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Love me some Dogfish, so I was eager to try this one. Perfect weather for it. Pours a nice amber color with a very fluffy head that doesn't go away. The aroma is wonderful - nutmeg, pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin. Smells like a pie, as it should. The flavor has a subdued pumpkin flavor that is backed by the nice mixture of spices. Well done. The drinkability of this brew is a little low because of the spices, but I could see myself drinking lots of these, just one per day. Dogfish scores again!

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this one for a while. This one pours a nice amber red color with a finger of head that sticks around to coat the beer. The nose is like pumpkin pie with the nutmeg and cinnamon mixed in with nice pumpkin as well. The flavor is nicely balanced between the spice and the pumpkin. Its like drinking a pie. This beer is thick and tasty. I wish I had a few more of these bad boys for the fall.

Edit: Trying the 2004 batch here. The color is amber gold. The feel is moderate to thick. Overall, a nice beer, but not as exceptional as last years. I'm gooing to knock the appearance, taste and drinkability down.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation was the plain jane bottle pictured. The year packaged is plainly marked on the side. I poured the cool beer into my trusty Bellevue tulip glass and began the festive beer season in style.

Pours slightly darker than lipton iced tea with a lite reddish hue. Very light tan head was hard to get going. It dissipated quickly to a sticky ring that lasted all the way through. No carbonation to speak of.

Smell was straight up pumpkin with a bit of brown sugar sweetness and the previously mentioned spices in there generally muted.

Sorry, I expect these pumpkin beers and Xmas beers to just be more spicey. I am very glad that Dogfish didn't go overboard with the hops and destroy the good malty bomb that is here. The pumpkin sets a nice chewy malty undertone that sticks throughout. It originally rushes in with the brown sugar sweetness and then finishes with a very faint wisper of cinnamon and all spice. The spices were very muted, like a pumpkin pie with a teaspoon added where there should be a table spoon.

Mouthfeel was medium to heavy given the stickiness. I would definitely have a few, even though I was disappointed in the flavors. I've had plenty worse, but there are better out there.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,061 ratings.