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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: 6,011
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 342
Gots: 995 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,994 | Hads: 6,011
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish did not overdo it on the spices, which was nice. It looked very good, but to be honest, the bar was dark. Not an overwhelming pumpkin taste but it was definitely noticeable. Very very smooth. This is a great beer for the fall. Not a complex beer, but great to have. (273 characters)

Photo of Wildman
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a medium amber color and formed a nice foamy off white head that left laticed lace as it subsided. Some carbonation was present. An aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices. The flavor was of malt, nutmeg, cinnamon with a slightly astrigent finish with a warming feeling of the alcohol present. Not a fan of this style, but Dogfish seems to pull if off better than most others. (396 characters)

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

This beer poured out a very clear light amber brown color and had a thinning white head of foam. The aroma is special to this beer – Heavy with spices, including pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and nutmeg. It’s an earthy and festive aroma. Perfect for Autumn. The same things that come out in the aroma transfer directly to the flavor during the first sip. The spices are definitely in the forefront here. There’s some hop bitterness and some malt body - it reminded me of a spicy and light nut brown ale. An excellent seasonal, and a beer that doesn’t hide what it truly is. (593 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i was quite wary of this one, as i had only had one pumpkin ale in the past (forget which one, but it was a while ago) and it was simply awful. the DFH punkin' ale is quite the opposite of that. this could surprisingly be a fun session ale. it pours a nice amber colour with a minimal head that does not hang around for very long, but leaves a solid lacing. the smell scared me at first...ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and of course pumpkin. it reminded me quite a bit of harpoon's winter warmer, a beer that i loathe. thankfully, the taste of this one made me forget the similarities to the winter warmer. it echoes the smell, relying a bit moreso on the pumpkin flavour upfront with a spicy finish, but everything is quite subtle and subdued. flavour is not shoved down your throat, but hinted at throughout, which made this brew that much more enjoyable. i'll definitely be looking to sample this every fall from now on. (918 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, part of my recent BIF 3.0 package. Poured a deep amber, with a fairly good head that didn't stick around long, and minimal lacing on the glass. Aroma is allspice and maybe a hint of cinnamon, but weak and even lacking in pumpkin. It smells more like a spiced ginger ale. Taste is more of the spicyness with some hops thrown in. This isn't a bad beer, for my first punkin beer, but I find it a little lacking in the body. It has a good start and a decent finish but it needs a kick in the middle. (509 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of kelticblood
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of jahred
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of PSUDREW
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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 (848 characters)

Photo of dedalus
3.07/5  rDev -21.5%
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.


s.d. (875 characters)

Photo of kunzbrew
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Prost (532 characters)

Photo of jazzmac
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of Jon
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (617 characters)

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. (288 characters)

Photo of Dantes
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (2,488 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (759 characters)

Photo of xgrigorix
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (499 characters)

Photo of rabidawg
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of far333
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (911 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (977 characters)

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