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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

4,725 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,725
Reviews: 1,915
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 213
Gots: 339 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,725 | Reviews: 1,915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Clear orange color with white head. Head dissipated into yeasty islands on the top, very appetizing looking.

Aroma was pumpkin pie, just about right for this beer in my opinion. It could have been a little stronger, but no real problems.

The flavor was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and malt. It was good but could have been stronger (again).

Not bad, and I'll drink it again. But so far my top prize for this style of beer stays with Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 00:16:32 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Knuckles


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My boys love Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving and Christmas for all the reasons that everyone should: candy, time off from school and booty. They also seem to have a rather pronounced fondness for pumpkin pie, and I think they get that from me. So it has always struck me as odd that I don't particularly care for pumpkin beers. It's not that I think they are bad, they just simply aren't my style (kind of like capri pants).

Appearance: A lovely deep brown, almost the color of a pumpkin pie after you've loaded it to the gills with molasses, brown sugar, evaporated milk and sweet, sweet love.

Smell: A malty sweetness runs primary through my nose, and just underneath it, whispering "Look at me!" is the faintest hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Taste: Huh. I expected the spiciness to be far more dominant than it is in this beer. It's actually almost an afterthought. The lable states that they add brown sugar along with the spices, and that's really the predominant flavor. Like the nose, there is a very faint hint of cinnamon, etc. hanging around in the background, but it's just barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: With the added sugar, I would have expected a much fuller textured beer. This is oddly thin in body, much more so than I would have expected.

Drinkability: Well, still not my style. This appears to be an alright beer, but I'm just not converted to the style by it.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2005 03:07:11 | More by Knuckles
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had numerous bottles of this autumnal puppy and a few glasses on draught...and thus it's time to review a glass poured from the bottle in the comfort of my home. I already know this is my #2 fave pumpkin ale...when does DFH disappoint?

Pours the color of autumn, falling leaves, a crimson sunset color with a good amount of thick lacing. Bready pumpkin pie, nutmeg and raisins fill the nose. Flavor is reminiscent of Irish soad bread (could be the raisins again) and darker fruits, a hint of anise(?) to go along with a so-unartificial pumpkin flavor and spices. Hops and alcohol are present in the finish; a nice compliment to the chewy malt. Finishes slightly dry, leaving you wanting more, provided you're into the kickass pumpkin ale you're imbibing. Light carbonation, utterly smooth and easy drinking. Being that the Southampton version isn't widely available (my true fave of the style), this is the standard. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2005 02:38:42 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of gmcfarre


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. "Packaged in" date unstamped on bottle. Bottle has top label (unlike picture) that says "Punk"... very cool.

A- Orangish golden color and slightly cloudy. Minimal and slightly creamy head that doesn't last long. Gentle carbonation.

S- Roasted pumpkin, gingerbread, cinnamon, a little hoppy

T- Somewhat divergent from the smell. Pumpkin has the staying power and is most evident in latter stages of each sip. there is a tinge of bitterness, and tastes of ginger, all spice and a bit of cinnamon

M- Creamy, pleasant, flavor spreads nicely across palate

D- Very nice, a great fall brew, alcohol shows its legs after an entire bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 03:00:58 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of battlekow


3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Punkin looks pretty average, a clear dark amber with almost no head. Lacing is fleeting.

Smells caramelly with some clove/bubblegum and diacetyl butteriness. Tastes authentically of pumpkin pie, a pumpkin flavor with spices. Countering this, though, is an odd astringency that I don't cotton to, and a dry finish that doesn't go with the flavors. I wanted this beer to be luscious and velvety, like a pie, but it just evaporates in your mouth after the initial good flavor, except for the barest hint of a cinnamon aftertaste.

I really wanted to like this beer so that I could say it was "just like Grandma used to make" and point out how subtley macabre that phrase is--USED to make? Why doesn't she make it anymore? What happened to Grandma?!--but oh well.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 01:33:03 | More by battlekow
Photo of phishgator


3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A unique brew that has a combination of flavors that might be a little too much. The pumpkin and spices are a nice mix but, a bit over the top. The pour is a nice foam and large head. It certainly reminds me of a thanksgiving day with pumkin pie. The taste is probably the best characteristic about this brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 15:34:32 | More by phishgator
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber orange crystal clear body with a very gentle carbonation. A thin layer of foam sits on top.

S- The light hint of banana is mixed with some faint spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. A nice lightly toasted malt backbone give it support.

T-This beer has a good light malt base with spices giving some flavor. A nice spicy hop finish is a good finish to this brown ale.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a bit of fizz in the mouthfeel. A slight alcohol warmth is in the finish also.

D- This is a good solid beer that has some spice added to it. Most beers in this style tend to put the spice before the beer. This also has a good alcohol warmth to support the malt and spices. The smell was a bit of a put-off but faded.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 00:50:48 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of santoslhalper


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: A bright, clear, but highly carbonated amber body sits beneath a bubble, off-white head.

Smell: The smell is basically just what the bottle says it's going to be: pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice (a little), cinnamon, & nutmug. Also some nice clove presence, and a decent amount of hopping. Well balanced!!

Taste and Mouthfeel: Strong, mouth-puckering cinnamon, spice and clove notes at first, slowly fading into a nutmug.pumpkin flavor, with a nice amount of a malt backbone. Finishes pretty dry, with a nice hop presence. Well balanced, full bodied, and lively.

Drinkability and Overall: For this time of year (especially with it being 50 degrees out right now), this beer is quite nice. God I love fall beers, I just can't wait till winter. Anyways, easily one of the better Pumpkin Ales I've had.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 00:58:38 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of karst


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a few floaties to remind you that the brewery uses real pumpkins in the mash. Two fingered head that has some persistance. Fresh September 1, 2005 release - the pumpking beer you will love. Purchased from the Sams liquor behind Goose Island's Clyburn BrewPub. ( where the 4 packs of Matilda are $19 less than from the brewer!)

More about a good malty pumpkin brew that is flavored with caramel malt and brown sugar than those over-spiced Pumpkin beers that are hard to down.

A medium full bodied with solid mouthfeel. Subtle flavors from cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

The beer has a well hidden 7.0 % ABV and any caramel sweetness is well countered by the 24 IBU hops.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2005 02:36:22 | More by karst
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is a light amber that resembles maple syrup. The head pours big, but fades quickly.

Abundant citrus notes on the nose with a little bit of all spice and pumpkin. Am I smelling a beer?

Oh yeah. That’s a beer. There’s an initial dry hop flavor along with some currant. There’s a good sour brown ale base and what I believe may be pumpkin. This fades into nutmeg and an odd yeasty sourness.

Very slick mouthfeel. Medium body and light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 02:41:17 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of phnphilly


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured an amber color, very clear, with about a one-inch head in my pint glass that dissipated very quickly

The aroma of this beer is fantastic with clear pumpkin, cinnamon, and many other spices coming through.

I was surprised after the first sip because I was expecting something sweet and this is far from it. I could taste a ton of spices but they were tough to distinguish. There is a pumpkin taste throughout but more in the background.

This beer reminds me a lot of the Raison D Etre but I find this one much more drinkable.

I haven't had many pumpkin ales but after drinking this one I am very eager to try more.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 00:24:48 | More by phnphilly
Photo of CJfromPhilly


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coppery-orange color with a pillowy white head that quickly dissipates into a thin covering. Good carbonation, lotsa bubbles rising forth. I smell a malty pumpkin aroma. Taking a sip, I get a lot of spice (cinnamon & allsipce), malt, pumpkin and a hint of brown sugar. Nice medium mouthfeel. Overall, a nice harbinger of fall, brings on thoughts of football, Thanksgiving dinner, and changing leaves. Dogfish Head goes out on a limb and scores another winner!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2005 23:41:45 | More by CJfromPhilly
Photo of chOAKbarrell


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I consider Dogfish Head's Punkin to be the best pumpkin ale I have ever had, I must say that this year's batch does not stand up to the fantastic 2004 Punkin.

This year's Punkin seems to be a lot less "bold." The flavors and spices are a bit quieter - no so upfront & in your face. However, this year it has a luscious mouth to it - very mild, low carbonation, with a creamy head. This is unlike all the other pumpkin ales, as every other one I've had has the carbonated bite in the mouthfeel. A very pleasant, pleasing difference.

The brown sugar is very present, without making the beer overly sweet, if that makes sense. Punkin is a bit darker - more of a deeper, healthier orange, compared to Smuttynose Pumpkin's bright orange glow.

Well, like I said, I dont think this year's Dogfish Head Punkin is as good as last year's, but it is still the #1 pumpkin ale, as far as I'm concerned, and well worth the $7 / 4-pack.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2005 23:39:01 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of BitterBrian


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First had this as a single from Blue Dog Tavern in Lansdale, PA. I had to buy a case as soon as possible after trying this one. The pumpkin ales go fast around here. I didn't want to have to wait until next year.

Pour/Appearance - Medium body pour with fairly heavy carbonation. Carbonation is tough to see though due to cloudiness. Color is a warm amber. Head disappeared quickly.
Smell - Slight hint of alcohol through the hearty spiced pumpkin smell.
Taste - Yumm. Ever had a seasonal gingersnap cookie? Mix in some pumpkin there you have it. Nutmeg, ginger and, of course, pumpkin overtones.
Feel - Hits the palate evenly and the spices linger on the sides. Feels like a light beer, but the warmth makes it seem heavier. Very smooth.
Drinkability - Due to the spicyness, not to be drank all day/night. It is a seasonal to enjoy when the time is right.

Much warmer and heartier than the other pumpkin ales I have had - which tend to be more watery. This makes it an ideal start to the fall season.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2005 22:00:22 | More by BitterBrian
Photo of barknee

New York

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Punk is an impressive deep cedar-copper color with a soft foamy off-white 1/2" head. Warming certainly kicks the aromatics up somewhat, but I feel the "punkin" essence, as well as the accompanying spices, are somewhat unwilling to emerge from the glass. This understated style, done purposely, rewards the recipient of this fine seasonal with great drinkability and never the feeling of being overwhelmed by what could be easily overdone enhancements. From the glass, essence of root beer and sarsaparilla are most prominent with a touch of nutmeg as well. The flavor is well balanced with a fine bright acidity that really makes for a lively mouthfeel; and a fine effervescence accompanying this taste sensation. The balance of negligible sweetness and the underlying acidity, team up together in perfect harmony. A very pleasant malty-marshmallow aftertaste finishes off just short of dry.
An impressive offering that is highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 23:37:50 | More by barknee
Photo of mynie


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice dark red with a small head that goes away quickly. The bottle doesn't have an apostrophe after the final "n."

Deep spiced balanced almost perfectly with deep malt. Allspice and nutmeg are the most present, but pumpkin and brown sugar are there, too. Nice.

Big on nutmeg and malt in the front, fading into a sweet malt with hints of pumpkin in the back. Warms me up like a hug, like a good autum beer should.

Nice, is all I can say. Wish I had bought more than one.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 04:59:00 | More by mynie
Photo of malty


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear burnished orange with a hint of copper. Visible carbonation rushing upward forming a thin beige head.

Aroma of cinnamon, pumpkin pie & nutmeg wrapped around a nice toasted malt backdrop.

Bright flavors of the aforementioned aromas. Nice balance of the sweet side: brown sugar & roasted malts AND the spicy side: nutmeg, allspice and the generous amount of dry, prickly hops.

Mouthfeel is very vibrant thanks to the healthy amount of boisterous (but not overdone) carbonation. Medium bodied with a nice spicy, somewhat faint dry and long finish.

Drinkability is good. Very drinkable for a spiced beer, where usually it's ONE AND DONE - but not here.

Overall this is one sturdy and well crafted pumpkin ale. I'm starting to look very much toward seeing this ale surface in my town this time of year - well worth the wait. This is probably the best bottled pumpkin ale I've had in my 10+ years of drinking craft brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 01:20:18 | More by malty
Photo of nriech


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap and bottle in September 05, both tasted the same so DFH has some consistincy on this batch. Bought the 4 pack at Total Wine and Beverage on Midlothian in Richmond, VA.

Poured with about 1/2 inch head, great aroma of the spices. Not overpowering with any of the spices on taste, just enough of each and pumpkin to make it a good seasonal brew.

Would be good with a big dinner served this time of year of Turkey and stuffing.... :-)

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2005 15:42:51 | More by nriech
Photo of rousee


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This thing blows away the 04 version. There was a recent thread about the best pumpkin beers and I know the longbeach one (darren not snoop) hates them as he has made quite clear. Both Darren and Snoop need to try this one. It is not overly pumpkin-ish or pie spices laden. Clearly the best of the 05 lot locally available here in the bottle. The CBC version is a little too flat and the Smutty is a tad to pumpkinny. The BBW one is real good too. I think this one is better in drinkability.

Tasting notes-- pumpkin color, taste and smell but there is clearly a good amount of those familiar dfh hops. They do a good job with their hops/ malt balance as I believe they use ringwood yeast which I am not a fan of. They do well as far as I am concerned, so no need to fix something thats not broken.

I do believe that DFH is/has expanded too quickly as I think they can be inconsistent. But when you get down to it or not, DFH is a prety good brewer. This pumpkin is very good-excellent for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 00:49:32 | More by rousee
Photo of dirtylou


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

finally found these things in Madison, although I hadnt been the to the beer store in a week and a half so they may have been here since then

appearance: much darker than most of the other pumpkin beers I have had this season...pours a rich dark orange color with minimal head/lacing, pretty clear

smell: not overpowering, mild pumpkin, typical spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar) noted in the nose

taste: pumpkin seed, nice pumpkin pie taste, alcohol definately present in that DFH way, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar balance out the pumpkin quite well, which is usually the downfall of most pumpkin beers

mouthfeel: medium bodied (as opposed to the very light bodied new holland and ofallon), slight alcohol tingle

drinkability: good enough to drink a few, but for the price (8.99 a 4) they need to be spread out

all in all, above average pumpkin brew....had been wanting to try this for a while so I was excited to find it

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2005 00:25:33 | More by dirtylou
Photo of ColForbin

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale pours a clear redish orange with a thin off-white head. Small bubble rise throughout. Aroma is heavy on the nutmeg, with some cinnamon and allspice as well. Taste is slightly sweet, with more of the above spices and some slight (maybe imagined) pumpkin flavors. Spices are not overwhelming, however. Amazingly, this beer has a hint of hops in the finish - much different from other pumpkin ales I have had. Fuller bodied than most others as well. Quite drinkable, but maybe a bit strong to have more than a couple in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 02:01:39 | More by ColForbin
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starting to like pumpkin beers... a lot. Pours a vibrant and glowing brown color. Slim head. Nose is full of pumpkin pie spice. Feel like I am at my momma's Thanksgiving Day table. Flavor is full of the same and quickly followed by some plump pumpkin tones. I am gonna have to put a few bottles of this away for Turky Day and momma's pie. Mouthfeel is light and very pleasant. Very drinkable, nice dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 01:11:01 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Bumpon10s


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an incredibly thin reddish, amber. No head and almost no lacing.

S - I am picking out many spices, but all are mixing pretty well. The allspice and nutmeg are the predominates.

T - A little pumpkin, a lot of spice. Nothing like cinnamon and brown sugar in a beer to make you smile. It has that Spaten Optimator sweet note to it.

M - Very thin and watery for texture, there is very little carbonation, but still lends a tingle on the surfaces. Typical ale as far as mouth feel is concerned.

D - Drinkability is middle of the road, it goes down easy and smooth, but afterwards you won't be amped for another. It is good, but you either need a fall gathering or be really in the mood for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 07:16:31 | More by Bumpon10s
Photo of tgbljb


3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a medium copper color with moderate white puffy head that fell to moderate ring. Left some clinginess to the sides of the glass. Smell is a mixture of spiciness and alcohol. Taste is very dissapointing because there seems to be more of the pumpkins spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) prrsent than actual pumpkin taste. Finish is also too dry for my liking with an odd taste present that seems almost like seltzer water?? The taste hides the 7% alcohol very well, but this was not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 03:28:44 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Comparing it to O'Fallon's Pumpkin Ale. It's Halloween in September up in here.

Pours an attractive ruddy amber/brown with a short khaki bubbly head. Smells delicious, sweet and spicey, caramel malts maybe a little bubblegum. Taste is much more like genuine pumpkin pie and less like pumpkin puree compared to O'Fallon's offering. Caramel malts lay down the brown ale backbone, with well-integrated infusions of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie filling. This is a desert of a beer. On the sweet side, but does so quite well. Mouthfeel is full for a brown, but still velvety smooth. I could drink a couple more of these no problem, but probably not more than that. This is a damn tasty brew, easily superior to O'Fallon. Just like Grandma used to make. Try it if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2005 20:50:09 | More by Golden2wenty1
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 4,725 ratings.