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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,964 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,964
Reviews: 2,012
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 321
Gots: 929 | 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: 5,964 | Reviews: 2,012
Photo of deepchills
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12. 0z bottle of Punkin Ale had a nice full amber color when poured into a tulip glass.

A finger of head dissipated after a minute or so. Little to no lacing throughout tasting.

The nose is very light, but cinnamon and brown sugar are present, and maybe some orange peel.You might need to be a bloodhound to smell it, but it very nice once you find it.

Great mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Oddly bitter start, not enough pumpkin flavor to join the spices and brown sugar which are great. Too much alcohol burn in the finish, much more than one would like.
I’m drinking straight out of the fridge, so the beer might be too cold. So I let it sit for 20 minutes before retasting.
The bitter start is still there, maybe even a little sour now. The alcohol burn in the finish has subsided. More pumpkin can also be tasted.

Not what I had hoped for after all the hype. Dogfish Head remain my favorite brewery, but this tasting didn’t go over too well for them.

I still have 2 more of these babies in the fridge, next time I’ll start much closer to room temperature as this ale got better the warmer it got.

Photo of HoosierInOhio
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep Amber, barely see through this one

S - Good on the nose, pumpkin, cinnamon, Allspice, vanilla?

T - Rich, nothing really overpowers here, a good balance, alcohol on the back end though, really comes through surprisingly for only a 7% brew

M - alcohol finish, can really feel the burn, strange

O - pretty good pumpkin brew for sure, just need to mellow out the alcohol burn on the back end

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid copper with a nice white head.

Smells of spice, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, and some nutmeg with just a small bit of malt breadyness sneaking in.

Tastes like of the spices mentioned in the smell with just a hint of bitterness in the finish. It is unique and tasty.

This beer has a lighter (than usual DFH) body and a medium level of carbonation. It is really easy to drink, if not a bit thin. That said, the alcohol is well hidden.

This is easily my favorite pumpkin beer, one of my favorite spiced beers, and I look forward to getting it each year.

Photo of Jesse13713
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Still not much head on the tap; same as the bottled version. More amber-orange than I recall. A very nice caramelized brown.

Smell - Perhaps it's my allergies, but I don't smell much here. Faint spices and sweetness.

Taste - This is how I remember the beer tasting from last year. I've been a bit disappointed with the bottled version so far this year. The tap brings out much more of the fresh pumpkin I've been waiting four. Sweet brown sugar and other spices accompany the gourd.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - I definitely prefer the tap version of this beer over the bottled one. It has a lot more of the fresh pumpkin taste I've been longing for. There is also a delicious mixture of spice throughout which stands out more in the tap-version. Very solid all around.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a copper/amber color with a one finger head that receded to a film, leaving no lace. Ample carbonation.

S- Pumpkin and spices dominate the nose. With cinnamon and nutmeg leading the way. The pumpkin is more subtle in the smell, but definitely there. It smells a little grainy with a light hint of malts.

T- More pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I get some caramel malts and a doughy-ness in there as well.

M- I don't have a lot to compare it to, but the mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a good amount of carbonation. Goes down really easily with only a slight bite from the 7% abv.

O- One of my first pumkin ales and I really enjoyed it. Not overly sweet or spiced, a quality brew here.

Photo of GreenJetta912
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a huge fan of DFH for a while and this is one of the last beers they make that I am yet to have.

Pours a clear amber with a perfect 1 1/2 fingers of head (but I have fat fingers, so it would be 2 for most of you). The head doesn't have a whole lot of retention at all. definite undertones of orangey-amber from the pumpkins.

Smells reminescent of a belgian dubbel or tripel. smells of corriander. The smell is also reminescent of the spicy smell of Sah'tea (minus the floral banana aroma). Pumpkins don't come out and bite you but their sweetness comes through in balance.

The middle says good bye to anything belgian but strongly shares the spice profile of Sah'tea but with more cinnamon. The overall taste is sweet. Notes of nutmeg as well. Slight hop character, which works to bring out the spices, hops in gret balance for the style. Incredible drinkability. Don't forget the bread notes.

The finish is spicy goodness. Nutmeg is most utilized here. slightly dry but still predominantly sweet. The nutmeg is immediate as the beer slides down but the very back end leaves a punkin sweetness.


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

A - A clear copper/amber color. Lots of lace that sticks on the glass until the beer is gone

S - Holy spices! Pumpkin pie overload,with brown sugar and spices are very present

T - Malts up front, and then it gets sweet at the end. Nice hop balance, and total aftertaste of a piece of pumpkin pie. Delicous.

M - Well carbonated, very smooth. balanced.

O - I can't say I have had many tasty Pumpkin flavored beers. This one is very tasty. I have a new favorite beer for the fall season

Photo of nandemo1
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The 2011 vintage pours a clear copper with minimal head. Leaves a light lacing in the glass as the head/beer recedes.

Smell is typical pumpkin ale - pumpkin pie spice with a nice sweetness. Taste doesn't quite follow up on the sweetness side, but spice is definitely still there. I prefer a pumpkin pie-y flavor to my pumpkin ale, so while this is very good, the lower sweetness doesn't make it as good as a Weyerbacher or Schlafly.

Mouthfeel is also kinda thin compared to others and for a fall/winter beer such as a pumpkin ale, i'd prefer a bit more body.

Overall a solid example of the style, but there are a couple that better meet my personal tastes.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass against 6 other pumpkin ales:

Pours a light brown hue with an off white head the very quickly vanishes leaving little lace.

Nose is inviting with a ton of baking spice up front. A hint of spiced pumpkin pie is there. Some caramel and roasted fig from the malts. The palate confirms but is dominated by the spice and pumpkin pie character. Very good nose and palate but pretty simple.

Texture is lovely. Nice thick, brown sugary mass with incredible balance. Tasting next to the other 5 pumpkin ales this seems so intense and rich without being too heavy.

Overall this was tied with the Elysian for best pumpkin ale among our group (Elysian had better nose and flavor but fell short of the texture and finish of this one). It's really quite a lovely beer.

Photo of wedgie9
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Tasted from bottle at Lush Roscoe. Pours clear amber with a thin but frothy white head that leaves a nice lace collar. The nose shows nutmeg, brown sugar, orange flesh, and cinnamon. There is also some type of fruitiness, but I don’t think that without the influence of the name, I would distinguish it as pumpkin. The pumpkin flavor definitely does not disappoint, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. The beer is sweet, but not as sweet as the brown sugar on the nose would have suggested. The body is medium with average carbonation and a long cinnamon finish.

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably my second favorite Pumpkin Ale that I've had. It had been first until I tried the Southern Tier Pumking. However, this ale poured out as a nice looking copper color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer has a pretty good spicy aroma to it with some malt in there too. The taste of the beer is pretty impressive compared to a lot of other pumpkin ales out there. The taste of pumpkin and spice really blend nicely together. The mouthfeel has a good solid body to it with a good amount of carbonation in there. Overall it's one of my favorite seasonals for sure. I look forward to the release every year. I normally pick up a 4 pack when I see it.

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in short glass at friend's house.

A: good carb action; thin head; slightly reddish copper color, clear
S: the pumpkin is strong up front, then dissolves to malt
T: allspice and nutmeg are very strong, drawn over a very hoppy ale for a base; the pumpkin element is too strong for my taste; had this been more subdued, I would have rated it higher.

Photo of Retail1LO
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an awesome beer. I had cases of this stuff last year, and got it on tap every chance I had, where it really shines. I can't wait for September to roll around to get more. What a marvelous combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and other lovely stuff. It's got a bit of a bite, and the flavors are strong. Some might not be able to handle much of this at a time, but this could be a daily beer for me if only it were brewed 365 days a year.

Photo of taigor
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured hazy copper color with light head that quickly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and lots of pumpkin. Overall a spicy aroma.

T - Slightly sweet but not too much. Pumpkin predominates as supposed to with spices present as well - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Very nice pumpkin ale that always reminds you of pumpkin pie but in liquid form.

Photo of rarbring
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is slightly hazy amber, an off-white minimal head, good curtains.

The smell is spicy and somewhat sour, an off-putting combination - to me at least.

The taste is sweet and "christmassy", like "mjuk pepparkaka" (cinnamon muffins). Very odd for a beer.

Medium carbonation, somewhat foamy but soft and very heavy body. A slight dryness.

A very different beer, the spices makes it hard to grasp. But complex and intriguing.

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009

Pours a caramel c-thru with very little head present on this one. I think the aging has tamed the carbonation.

Smells - Like Halloween. lots of pumpkin, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and a beery smell as well. I find this beer smell to be present in all of dogfish's brew. I can't really put a finger on describing this.

Taste - Mmmm. I favor this one better than the 2010 batch, very surprising. this is a very well put together beer. It follows the nose really well. I get the cinnamon and nutmeg up front, followed by sweet molasses and oh yeah pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - Aging this one hasn't put a damper on the carbonation. its still very present and very good.

Overall - the flavors play together really well. I have great respect for Sam and his work over at Dogfish Head. His Brewing a Business is a great book and this beer is amazing for its ability to withstand some age still taste good. i was shocked at what this beer brought to the table 2 years later. Very good. Thanks Thorpe!

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

Initial Review: (look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2) on 5/14/2006.

12oz bottle, rated after the Post Road Pumpkin Ale.

The smell overwhelms here, nutmeg and inerds of pumpkins. Way too intense flavor and alcohol here for me to enjoy.

Again, I am not a huge fan of pumpkins - but I do like the stlye of beer, as its flavor is nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar. So, I defintely love trying these.

Pour and color are nice, deep orange color (ironic) and deepened with its nutmeg.

I would suggest trying to split the pack with someone, or get a single if possible. This is a bit hard to have, but worth a shot.

Pumpkin lovers should really love this one, as it is not heavy on the other flavors that come with pumpkin ales.


Bottle from 2003 I had stored away, and finally opened in June 2011.

To my surprise, the beer popped and released that beer "spirit" from ~7 years ago, and didn't gush out. Good so far.

Poured clear and it had a decent off-white/lightly tan head that quietly dissipated. Color on the beer is great, really ideally orange-ish light brown with reddish highlights. This is certainly a great color to shoot for as a homebrewer too.

Incredible smell! This was really unexpected after so many years. Huge pumpkin aroma with a subtle mix of spices in the background. No off musty, damp, cardboard flavors at all.

The taste was simpler than I remember it, nice pumpkin and balance with its pie-filling spice counterpart. A bit on the sweet side, but definitely fitting for its style. Nice aftertaste, and good balance throughout the bottle. (Not really much sediment at all.)

I remember having this fresh and thinking it tasted like innards of a pumpkin, which was too much pumpkin flavor for me - even in a pumpkin ale. However, after years of mellowing in the cellar - some of the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar-like spices came out and blended harmoniously with the pumpkin.

All in, I have to say - this was an unexpected gem that I probably shouldn't have opened so late. I will probably buy some and try to forget about them again for another 5+ years, just to see what happens.


Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pour- Looks like iced tea with a quick disappearing head. On the bottle it says it's a "Brown Ale"... not very brown in color.

Smell- Pumpkin pie spices, roasted malt, brown sugar.

Taste- very malty,and more pumpkin pie spice than actual pumpkin flavor. A wee bit much carbonation for my taste... I like it but I think this beer is way over hyped... honestly you can taste more pumpkin in Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale.

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass small head with a copperish/orangish tint to it. Smells like pumpkin but not too strong. Tastes just as the bottle reads pumpkin and spices. A bit of strong taste and mouthful but otherwise good. Overall a good beer especially during Octoberfest

Photo of happygnome
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a hazy copper color with about a quarter inch of head that disappears quickly leaving a good amount of lace on the top of the beer

s: nutmeg and clove come to mind. It smells more like a sweet and spicy pumpkin pie than a pumpkin

t: thanksgiving dinner all over. spicy pumpkin pie

m: medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, this is a pretty good beer

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my HotD Tulip.

Bottle 7.28.09

Appearance - Dark Orange with a lively tan head.

Smell - Pumpkin, spice, cinnamin.

Taste - Spices - Cinnamin, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin.

Drinkability - Verk drinkable. It makes me wish it was Fall.

Photo of hoosier3334
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer really has most of the characteristics of a brown ale, but adds in the pumpkin and spices nicely. The pumpkin and spices are well balanced throughout the beer and don't overwhelm you at all. The head on this pour didn't get too big, probably 1", and didn't lace all that much. Very nice fall beer.

Photo of spree92
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 25D

Probably should have drank this sooner. A dirty amber color with a small head. The spices are nutmeg, cinnamon and some clove. The flavor has really weakened over the cellars time. Slight cloves and nutmeg but really mellow. The mouthful is good since nothing is overpowering and the alcohol, at 7%, is not noticeable. I really enjoyed this fresh but never reviewed it then, would have rated it higher.

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

Pours an orangey amber color, translucent, with a one-finger cream-colored head that recedes quickly and leaves medium lacing. Funny that the label says it's a brown ale, as there's not much brown about it, IMO.

Smells like sweet malts and spices. There's a baseline sweetness that's ever-present in the smell, as well as some cinnamon and citrusy spice. Pumpkin aroma is very faint at first, but comes out much more as the beer warms up.

Taste has a light caramel malt base, with some spice and pumpkin built on top of that. Just a tiny hint of hops. Pumpkin once again is faint at low temps, but is much more prominent as the beer warms up. It's actually quite tasty - a nice variety of slightly sweet, slightly rich, slightly spiced flavors.

Body is medium-light with slight below-average carbonation. Nothing special, but decent.

When I first tasted this, it was rather cold, and I was disappointed in the lack of pumpkin. It is, after all, a pumpkin beer. But as it warmed up, the flavors came through much more fully, and I was able to enjoy the spices, the malts, and the pumpkin in concert.

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

First had: on tap at The Khyber, Philly, PA

Poured hazy burnt orange-brown with a nice foamy white head. Smell of pumpkin, sugar and spice, sweet malts. Pumpkin pie flavor and just a bit of bitter hops for balance. Mellows out a little when it breathes and comes up in temperature a bit. Medium mouthfeel, overall smooth, and very drinkable, depending on how much pumpkin you feel like drinking.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,964 ratings.