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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,891 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,891
Reviews: 1,996
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 309
Gots: 834 | 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:
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: 5,891 | Reviews: 1,996 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pumpkin beer that shows all the right spice motes with a moderate ale as a base. Not as complex as Elysians Night Owl or as rich. Still a very drinkable example of the style that for a lot of people defines the genre. The golden colour is pretty in the glass

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a brassy orange, mild haze, with a finger of frothy parchment head.

Smell -- Biscuity malt, grassy hops, some floral notes, spice in moderation, and faint pumpkin.

Taste -- Toasted malts, biscuit dough, grassy and floral hops, cinnamon and allspice. More of the gourd than in the nose, but still muted compared to the hop addition.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation with a tannic astringency in the finish.

Drinkability -- Not terribly impressed by this one, honestly. Spice and pumpkin are muted, hops are too forward, and there's this strange astringency that made this hard for me to get into. Admittedly, this is one of my least favorite styles, so your mileage may vary.

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

I remember trying this years ago, perhaps as my initiation into pumpkin ales, and not liking it one bit. Gave it a second chance soon after, and still thought it was without any redeeming qualities. Then about 4 weeks ago, I found myself at a growler station sampling it and thinking that it was much improved, or at least better way than I remember (my palette likely primed by now).

Last night, I finally had a chance to sit down and crack open the growler and was quite satisfied by this ale. It, of course, poured with abundant head - cottony, fluffy. leaving strands of lacing. Yellowish amber hue and clean. Wonderful balance in aroma and flavor. Spices are present, thankfully not in a pumpkin pie bouquet, but they merely lend touches to what is actually a lovely pumpkin/malt blend. The pumpkin (and some faint nuttiness) steps forward in the taste, while the malt and spices seem to lead the scent. What I really appreciate and enjoy here is that the pumpkin is featured quite well, not pushed down or muted by a loud lousy concoction of pie flavorings, as many of these ales are. The pumpkin comes across a little roasty as well. The beer drinks medium-bodied, clean, and somewhat dry. An all-around well-constructed pumpkin ale experience.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

A: Pours a translucent orange with a one-finger head.

S: Lots of pumpkin. The allspice and nutmeg come through as well, but its pure pumpkin meat that dominates here.

T: Yup, pumpkin meat alright. You do get a little hops in the aftertaste that don't come through in the nose, but other that that, the taste follows smell.

D: Nice and drinkable. Its crisp and pretty low carbonated, but that's good for this style, it leaves a little coating in the mouth.

Overall: If you like pumpkin, you'll like this; end of story. A lot of people think they like pumpkin, but actually like all the spices that pumpkin dishes are prepared with. Remember, pumpkin is a gourd; a vegetable, not a sugary cinnamon pie. That being said, I like this beer. Definitely one of the better pumpkin ales. It tastes natural and fresh, nothing artificial about this one at all. Make sure to let this one warm a little because the sweetness comes through with warmth.

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

Bought a 4-pack at Total Wines. Bottled in 2010 22D.

Appearance - Cola champagne color.
Smell - Great smell. Spices and nutmeg all over.
Mouthfeel/Drink-ability - Desert drink. Decent pumpkin brew. Taste is a mixture of nutmeg, spices and cinnamon..

Photo of z3niMAGiNE
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a case of Punkin for my Halloween guests. The night was pretty great. I took a kid around my neighborhood trick or treating came home to some barbecue and Punkin. I've had the beer before, but am typically not a big fan of pumpkin beers but decided to give them another try and I'm glad I did.

Poured a nice slightly hazy orange into my Sam Adam's glass with a nice white head which fairly quickly dissipated into the glass lacing somewhat.

Smells like cinnamon and brown sugar with small notes of allspice and cardamom. Truly a heavenly aroma.

Tastes good. Nice malty beer with fall flavors all over my tongue. Aftertaste is just a little bit thin and metallic.

Only mild carbonation.

Here's a seasonal I could drink year round.

Photo of Sam21
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Deep amber body with a fluffy tan head. There is some floating sediment in this one, although I don't remember that from the first two bottles of the 4-pack I had.

Smell - Freshly gutted pumpkin meat, light brown sugar-like sweetness, and a mix of spices. The cinnamon adds a definite nose tingling zip and the other spices blend together to create a holidays memory invoking scent.

Taste - Unsweetened pumpkin arrives first with the same brown sugar-sweetness coming from the malt that was so prominent in the nose. Then the spices arrive on the scene. Light bitterness from the spices with a lingering sweetness in the finish. Very rich.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied. Very creamy and smooth. Glides across the tongue and leaves the mouth coated in holidays goodness.

Drinkability - A great fall seasonal from Dogfish Head. Nice balance between spice and sweetness and a supremely creamy body. I wouldn't mind having a couple pints of this over the winter months as well!

Photo of abecall98
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - pours a bright orange, cloudy color. Tiny white head, not much lacing.

S - slight pumpkin pie aroma, getting some cinnamon notes.

T - very spiced. I taste cinnamon, brown sugar, and not enough pumpkin like I enjoy my other pumpkin ales.

M - not very good. A little less carbonated and thinner than I prefer.

D - the mouthfeel and taste don't help this beer out. And, and 7%, I taste some heat in the aftertaste. If they had more pumpkin flavor, it may have masked it.

O - there are better pumpkin ales out there.

Photo of righthereisay
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Although I'm not a fan of vegetable / fruit flavored beers, this was pretty good. I'm not a big fan of Dogfish Brewery, but this one they did right.

The nice medium copper color with a nice foam head. Poured into a tervis tumbler 17 ouncer, the head was about 1/2 inch. Then came some nice lacing.

The smell wasn't as nice as the flavor. Pumpkin, yeah, spices, yeah, brown sugar, sure....

The best part of theis beer was the mouthfeel. It was full bodied, rare from what I've had from Dogfish.

My only issue was the bitterness at the end, which is not rare for Dogfish.

Edit: I now drink this every fall season. It is a great beer that I wish Dogfish would build off with other beers, as opposed to their constant IPA infatuation. I spoke with a beer distributor, who told me the Dogfish Punkin sells out day 1, and the other Punkin beers sit there for a month until they are taken. It is by far, the best Punkin beer out there.

Photo of cmillard
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- hazy dark orange/brown, nice white head, thick originally but settles quick, minimal lacing

S- Strong cinnamon and spices, pleasant but not overpowering pumpkin aroma

T- Delicious. Initially a more spiced flavor with a mild pumpkin aftertaste, clear taste of brown sugar and nutmeg

M- decent carbonation, medium body with a hoppy/spicy aftertaste

D- Would have been nicer if it had a bit stronger pumpkin taste, but overall a very nice fall beer

Photo of JayS2629
4.93/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. One of those beers that me and the wife completely agree upon.

A- Caramel tone with a medium cascade of white head.

S- Smells like pumpkin pie. All the brewed ingredients are there. Pumpkin, allspice, brown sugar, and cinamon. The allspice and brown sugar stand out.

T- Liquid pumpkin pie with good ale. Sweet. Exactly as described. Perfectly balanced blend. Spicy with notes of allspice and brown sugar. You can tell real pumpkin was used. Absolutely delicious.

M- Well balanced and light with a slightly sticky sugary film. Very nice.

D- Swigging down a four pack is too easy. Absolutely elegant.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - clear orange brown, short tan head left random islands, not the best retention
S - caramel and grains, cinnamon and all spice, very subtle pumpkin
T - sweet molasses, the pumpkin is almost undetectable, typical spices and some alcohol
M - decent carbonation, fairly thin and tingly spice finish
D - too light on the pumpkin, decent spice highlights, a little thin and the alcohol was present, not the best i've had this fall

Photo of JizackFH
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice brownish orange color with a decent head that left a nice lacing on the glass. A lot of different scents in this like nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a little bit of hop presence. Tasted better than a lot of pumpkin ales that I've had. Had a nice balance, the pumpkin was definitely there but not too sweet. You could taste all of the spices that you could smell, but none of them were too stong. Mouthfeel was good, went down smooth, nice medium body, and a decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability was good, and I would definitely have a couple more of these. Cheers

Photo of BillyBob78
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the end of October last year and really enjoyed it so, I bought a case of it this year.

Poured in a pint glass.

Appearance was a hazy orange/brown hue with nice white head and nice lacing.

The smell was awesome! First I noticed all the spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and then this nice pumpkin aroma.

Taste was just as good. The beer was really well balanced. A nice brown ale with all these great pumpkin and spices coming through but nothing over powering. Still can taste how good the brown ale really is.

Despite the high alcohol, still very drinkable.

Definitely one of my favorite fall beers.

Photo of rembrant
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Look Slightly hazy amber with a little head
(no,the head does not look like a dogfish)

AROMA Some lager type yeasts,some various uncertain spices. Really not a Pumpkin Pie scent

Taste- Nutmeg dominates after a little caramel tease. Pumpkin shows up in the aftertaste and in that context comes off more as underbaked unsweetened pumpkin than pumpkin pie. I happen to like nutmeg a lot but here I don't think it works,the choice of a German tasting yeast and a rather blunt wooden German type hops killed off the subtle sweet touch of the Nutmeg and amplified it's bitter side. I guess the idea was to merge pumpkin and malts,and merge the nutmeg and hops,but the whole never seemed at all in balance. I don't know if "cloying" can apply when there's hardly any sweetness but I had just 2/3 of the bottle and even so that last gulp was a bit forced

Mouthfeel- Body,texture,carbo,no problem.
Aftertaste....unsweet pumpkin,some yeast that hit my belly like a brick,and a harsh underbuffered,overdone nutmeg blast accented by a hops that brought out the wrong things...just not for me.

Drinkability Low

I LOVE Pumpkin Pie. I hand grate a lot of nutmeg when I make egg nog....somehow DFH missed badly if I found it hard to handle.

My sister in law isn't generally a beer person,but I've been giving her small samples of beers. She's liked some big stouts and handled some hoppy IPA okay. She liked Saranac's sweet but uninspired Pumpkin Ale. This...was the first beer she handed back to me...could not finish a 3 oz sample.

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even though the fallish version of October abruptly ended yesterday around here, I've still got some autumn ales to get through...

This beer pours a clear medium amber hue, with one finger of soapy pale beige head, which produces a slouching ring of lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of cinnamon, demarara sugar, ginger, leafy hops, and a bit of alcohol. The taste is spicy caramel malt, cinnamon, clove, and ginger (natch) most prevalent, tempered quite well, if not overly so, by the earthy, boozy, herbal hops. The carbonation is average, the body medium weight, smooth, and kind of warm. It finishes a bit off-dry, crisp, and with some more alcohol edge.

A nice, spicy, hearty fall ale, with a just a bit too much octane to make it a serious imbibing contender.

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

A - Light brown/deep orange with a nice head and appropriate lacing. Seems to be a bit unfiltered too, or maybe the glass was condensating a little...

S - Lots of spice...cinnamon, brown sugar, and allspice all there as described on the bottle. Pairs well with a pleasant pumpkin aroma that isn't too powerful or weak.

T - Again, spicy is the first impression I get, moreso than then pumpkin. Lots of cinnamon and a dry allspice are detectable and finishes with a nice brown sugar/pumpkin flavor. Light malt flavor and not much hops present.

M/D - Medium body with a pretty dry finish. Nice spicy flavor makes it easy and fun to drink.

One of the best pumpkin ales on the market IMO b/c it's taken in a different direction than most others.

Photo of Lucklys
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With me being the last person on earth to try this beer, there's nothing left for me to say that hasn't been said.

Poured into my snifter (I'm still really hesitant to pull out my Pilsner glass...is it time yet?), it holds a wonderful polished cherry wood color in the depths with orange accents swirling around the outside. There was a small head of off-white foam, about a finger thick, that quickly dissolved to a bubbly ring with islands in the middle. I was hardly disappointed as the little foam that lingered didn't vanish, but stuck around through the whole drink, keeping it together just right.

The aroma permeated the air around the glass almost immediately. The Punkin left a seductive trail of fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie, banana bread, and cinnamon toast that I continually wafted over myself in ecstasy. Closing my eyes, I imagined myself in a warm, inviting kitchen baking scrumptious desserts in preparation for a family Thanksgiving. Slinking among the amazing eruption of baked goods, I found some caramel malt, allspice, and a dash of spicy nutmeg.

To continue with the perfection of this favorite brown ale, the taste was the complete embodiment of the nose, only with the liquid sustenance. It was lightly spicy right off the bat, keeping my tongue tingling with happiness while cinnamon, pumpkin pie, and a generous amount of caramel washed over it. All of this was accompanied by nutmeg, brown sugar and allspice - all of which are extremely complimenting of each other; no one flavor tries to dominate the others. The mouthfeel was smooth with a medium body, like a heavy silk, and everything is supported by just the right amount of carbonation. It ends slightly dry with very little bitterness, and pulls everything together with a comforting warmth from the 7% ABV...which gives it an A+ in my book.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly aggressive pour leaves 2 fingers on thick creamy head, which recedes after a few minutes leaving some nice lacing in my tulip. I get some spices in the smell, mainly cinnamon & nutmeg. Initial taste is of the spices mentioned in the nose, I get more and more pumpkin as this ale warms. A bit of a bitter finish, but not in a bad way. DFH Punkin is a very nice pumpkin ale, that is always worth seeking out when the leaves begin to fall.

Photo of gskitt
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a hazy pumpkin orange. Head is thick but quickly recedes leaving a thin, white film. not much lacing.
S- Malty, hints of citrus and fresh pumpkin.
T- alcohol comes through, pumpkin is secondary but balanced. Hops is present but not overpowering. something else here, citrus? pineapple?
M- much carbonation but doesn't last. pleasant mouthfeel, pillowy.
D- This is a solid pumpkin ale but i'm sure how many one could drink but i've surprised myself before.
A solid pumpkin ale but not the best and I'm a DFH fan.

Photo of beersensei305
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a burnt orange, with a white head that dissipates quickly. Delicious smell like a pumpkin pie, spicy with cinnamon nutmeg and the all spice. The taste brings a perfect medley of flavors, sizable malt flavor with all the spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. The beer is smooth with a nice sweetness and subtle presence of pumpkin. I can drink this over and over again.

Photo of wingman14
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with an off white head that fades fast. The spices are apparent in the smell but not overpowering. The smell has some great malt presence mixing well with the nutmeg. The flavor is a nice blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice. The bottle says it is brewed with brown sugar, so I expected some sweetness, but no sweetness comes through. This one has a medium mouthfeel, but has a hearty feel to it. This one is a great drinker as far as pumpkin ales are concerned, the flavors come together nicely, and do not overpower. This one is a great fall beer, very enjoyable.

Photo of HopNuggets
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz bottle into Sierra Nevada etched 20oz Hop Tulip Glass.

A - Poured a light smokey amber (or very light brown) color that lets light reflect through it. Poured a 1 finger head that lingers to a great 1/8 in coating that stays on top the whole way down.

S - At first you can smell the malt, then the pumpkin spices come though as it warms. Not over the top scent on this pumpkin ale. Very bisquity with cinnamon, nutmeg and slight clove.

T - This is where the brew really blows you away. DFH signature bitter up front that comes and goes while you taste the pumpkin spices but that bitterness hits the tongue and lingers until the next sip. All the pumpkin ale flavors are there but I don't see where this is a "brown."

M - Smooth and bitter that leaves a coating across the palate where the taste just lingers on forever. Very nice.

D - Very drinkable for a 7% pumpkin brown ale that is well balanced and not over the top with spices.

Photo of BranfordBound
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle into a SA Perfect Pint. It's cold outside and the leaves are falling... time for the pumpkin beers.

Punkin Ale pours a transparent amber/orange color. A dense off-white head forms and falls, leaving a mild covering. Hints of carbonation. Doesn't leave too much lacing.

Smells like a malty ale, but after awhile the spices penetrate the nose and you can detect the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Strong spices in the beginning and middle. The cinnamon works nicely with the malt to have that wonderful cinnamon and sugar flavor at the front end, then the more aggressive spices take over at the middle to finish out the pumpkin pie flavor. End with an aftertaste of mild and creamy pumpkin, usually more apparent when warm.

Carbonation adds to the element of spice, and it finishes a little wet.

Well, it's 7% ABV, but still wonderfully drinkable and not too, too heavy.

Photo of Natural510
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, states it was "brewed in 2010"

Pours a lighter amber-orange color, nice swath of head and lacing which remains for the duration.

Scent is spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom. A bit sweet as well, but not able to pick up the pumpkin in the nose.

All the ingredients listed on the bottle are detected in varying levels of flavor: heavy on the cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg. Pumpkin is present but understated, as well as the brown sugar. Spices are at the forefront, and blend with a generous dose of hops to create a dry, snappy finish.

Medium body, which makes it more of a beer which can be drunken a few at a time, rather than a heavy-bodied sipper as with other pumpkin beers.
Clean, with a nice hop bite. Still, it's a bit overbalanced toward the spices rather than the sweet malt or actual pumpkin. A nice beer nonetheless, but seekers of big pumpkin flavor should look elsewhere.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,891 ratings.