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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,823 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,823
Reviews: 1,991
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 303
Gots: 813 | 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: 5,823 | Reviews: 1,991 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jampics2
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Winking Lizard. Served in a pint glass.

This beer looked decent enough in the pint. It's a caramel orange color, almost like Dogfish Head channeled the colors of the leaves that have just fallen in the autumn forest. The off white head just can't hang on and quickly subsides without any lace. Good color, poor performance.

The smells of the season are all captured in the glass , but they aren't just afterthoughts like in your average pumpkin spiced beer. There's some real pumpkin here, tons of nutmeg and cinnamon, some caramel malt, and even a hint of hops. The beer had a wonderful expression that makes it stand out, not to mention it smells more like a beer than a hokey allspiced ale.

The taste is also unique and enjoyable, but it's just not cohesive enough. Some great cinnamon and nutmeg, plus a ton of caramel sweetness, some mild hops, and some pumpkin for authenticity's sake. The real problem is not the elements of the taste, it's the alcohol. Like the last minutes of trick or treat, it comes in and breaks up the party.

The mouthfeel is decent, and it certainly makes other pumpkin ales seem like childs play. There is a medium feel with creamy carb and just a really nice refreshing vibe going on. I like this beer and I'll revisit it again this season and next. It makes beers like Southern Tier's Pumking seem gimmicky by actually remembering to be a beer. Although it's not without it's flaws, the biggest of which is the notable alcohol, Punkin is a worthy Autumn seasonal just about any beer lover would enjoy.

jampics2, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of mjrod2142
4.9/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely loved this beer.

16 oz. draft in a standard pint glass at Eastern Standard Kitchen in Boston

After being set in front of me by the bartender, I first noticed this beer had a creamy, yet thick head. The color was rich amber and clean-looking, not cloudy.

Pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg were in the aroma, but not overpowering.

Wow, I was very impressed with the mouthfeel of this beer. It was creamy with no hint of carbonation. The taste of pumpkin pie was deliciously subtle and never overbearing, which I prefer.

There's not much more to say. I loved this beer and thought it was absolutely perfect with Sunday brunch in the fall. Well done.

mjrod2142, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of bifrojm
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Nice copper color with white head.

Smells lightly spiced of pumpkin pie, nice nutmeg and bits of cinnamon. Smells sweet with malt.

The taste is good, not great for the style. Nice blend of spices for a light pumpkin pie flavor. Very malty sweet and unfortunately I feel the booze shines through. I used to love this pumpkin ale until I had more spiced and quite honestly more balanced versions.

Mouthfeel is fine, nice body, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - I still buy this one, but only because I can't get my favorite in Chicago (Schlafly!). It's kind of boozy (tasting, not just in ABV), so I usually only have one per sitting before moving on to something else. There are two schools on pumpkin ales, and I land firmly in the more spice, the better, and I think this is in the more subtle arena. I alos think the balance is off, especially for the Dogfish guys.

bifrojm, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of JLeege
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours copper in color with a 1 finger white head. Good lace.

Smell- pumpkin pie and nutmeg, caramel malt

Taste- this is great. more spices than pure pumpkin, but it works very well. some subtle hop presence, but sweet and malty overall. the cinnamon is not at all overpowering like it seems to be in some pumpkin ales

Mouthfeel- medium body/carbonation

Overall- 2nd only to pumking as far as pumpkin ales go for me, but they are almost two different beasts all together.

JLeege, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Antihippy6
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Am inviting amber color with a 3/4" head that faded fairly quickly.

S- The smells are definitely all that are listed on the bottle; pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I can't really put my own spin on that truth.

T- The first thing I taste is the nutmeg, then that fades to the other 4 tastes I listed above. Again, it's hard to put it better than the bottle says. It isn't like a lot of pumpkin ales you may try, in that it isn't like eating a piece of pumpkin pie or some other pumpkin desert (note: I'm not saying this in a negative manner whatsoever).

M- Medium mouthfeel. The plentiful spices tingle the tongue on the way down.

D- Overall a very good beer in my opinion. It went down pretty easy even with all of the spices. "Would I have another?" why yes I think I will now. I will be sure to buy some more to make sure I have some for Thanksgiving dinner!

Antihippy6, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a nice golden pumpkin color to it with a 2" white head, which disapates quickly to a thin white lace around the glass. The smell is like a unbaked pumpkin pie(cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of brown sugar. the taste nice of malts and pumpkin with a hint of spices. It has a very nice mouth feel and is very drinkable. I would not drink like 3 or four of these at a time, but after dinner or just to relax on the back porch in fall would good for me.

chefhatt, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of LikaThaHops
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- Poured an orange/brown color into my goblet, a thick off white head that quickly dissipated into light, frothy bubbles atop the brew.

S- Smells like cinnamon and beer and pumpkin spice.

T- Amazing. Cinnamon, spices and pumpkin! I dreamt it would be this good.

M- it's a light, spicy liquid. The spices definitely stay on the pallet well, so there is no bad after taste. all in all, good.

D- the drinkability of this, for me, isn't too much. Definitely not a session beer, but goes well after work, relaxing on the weekend, etc.

LikaThaHops, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of shand
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Pours an ambery-orange with a finger's worth of head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Well, the label sure is spot on here! It basically smells like it says - pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Very spicy and sweet.

Taste: It also tastes very much like the nose. Except the spices are by far the star of the show here. The pumpkin is a bit content to hang around in the background. It would be nice if the pumpkin could overcome the overpowering brown sugar and cinnamon. This is probably spot-on for some people and their memories of pumpkin pie, but it's not quite right on for me. There's just too much spice here for it to be enjoyable for me, probably doesn't hurt that I'm not the hugest on pumpkin in general as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. About right for the style.

Drinkability: This one is a sipper for sure. I poured the bottle about an hour and a half ago and am only halfway with my mug. It's a good cap to a night though.

shand, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Magpie14
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: heavy orangish copper hues make up the bulk, with just a pinch of reds shining through. Thin dingy yellow cap formed on top. Lacing is well below average

S: the nose offers up an explosion of the listed smells. Even with the beer sitting hard right as I am typing the nose reeks of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. More spicy and sweet in the nose than anything else. For whats in the nose, I like it

T: the palate is right in line with the nose. I gather sturdy roasted flakey crusted malts loaded with brown sugar and drizzled with caramel and butter. Nothing pumpkin-like really stands out as spices reign. I find the combination of nutmeg, malts, cinnamon and sugar very pleasing. However, I might add that the flavors are walking the fine line between manageable and overpowering. I like the taste but in moderation, glad I just bought one

M: kinda heavy and silk like, maybe a few sheets of silk in smoothness

D: more pumpkin would be nice. One of the better pumpkin brews and full of bold spiciness. Interesting beer

Magpie14, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of ebby82
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber into a DFH snifter, with a slight head. The smell is where this beer becomes impressive. Brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a sweet aroma that may be pumpkin. The taste, however, is even better than the smell. Nutmeg, Cinnamon, pumpkin, and a delicious lingering brown sugar taste. It has a medium body, very drinkable. The only thing that prevents me from drinking several at a time is the price and the ABV.

ebby82, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of EkimGram
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber colour, inch-thick head that dissipates quickly. Visible carbonation.

Smell: Spicy - nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Taste: Initial taste is spicy carbonation. Aftertaste is a malty flavour with hints of pumpkin spice. Not very pumpkin tasting, though.

Mouthfeel: Significantly carbonated, smooth, leaves the mouth watering.

Drinkability: A decent beer. Overly spicy, like most other pumpkin beers. Goes down easy. Very appropriate.

EkimGram, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of lovetranquillity
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber color, half inch head, lacing that sticks to the sides.

S- Nutmeg, pumpkin, spices. Reminds me of Fall, Thanks giving and pumpkin pie. Could be made into a candle

T/M- Tastes like pumpkin, nutmeg, and malt. Drinks like a brown ale and goes down easy. Medium mouth feel and medium carbonation.

My favorite pumpkin ale that I wish I had all year round. When fall comes around I always pick up this beer. This is another example of quality dogfish head ales.

lovetranquillity, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of Duttonic
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 10/01/10, on tap at Cricketts.

A- Deep burnt copper, 1 1/2cm head, thick foam, light bubbling.

S- Nutmeg, cinnamon, like a baked pumpkin pie.

T/M- Pumpkin pie, but like it just came out of the fridge, not fake in any way, nutmeg, malty, medium body.

D- This is by far the best pumpkin style beer I have ever had. I can't wait to try it out of the bottle.

Duttonic, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer appears a light shade of orange, appropriate for the fall season. The head fades after a few minutes, leaving very little lacing behind.

The aroma is packed with spices first and foremost, as is often the case with pumpkin ales.

Flavors consist of cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash, gourds, sweet yams. All in all, a pretty decent offering for a pumpkin ale. But again, the spices dominate the beer. Spices should be used to enhance an already great beer, not run rampant on the palate, overpowering what could be a tasty ale. Less is more.

M: Fairly thin body with a good carbonation level. A bit sweet.

D: I have yet to find a pumpkin ale that I thoroughly enjoy. There are a few on my list for which I have high expectations. Here's hoping...

Huhzubendah, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of rawhydes1
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by stating clearly...
I want to like Pumpkin beers more than I do. I love the smell, but find them generally to be too malty and masked by pumpkin pie SPICES, which I do not like.

Punkin presents as a nice brown/bronze beer.

Smells of pumpkin pie, not pumpkin puree or allspice. No vegetal tate heare. This is good so far.

Biscuity and sweet upfront. What I really like is the finish. Leaves a nice nutmeg/pumpkin pie aftertaste. Very nice. I used to feel this way about Harpoon Winter Warmer, but not nearly so anymore.

Pluses: punkin' obvious in the finish. A very good burping beer.

rawhydes1, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The beer is amber with about a finger of smooth with head that leaves behind thin lacing. This one smells really nice. I can smell pumpkin for one, along with all the spices used in the making. I think the nutmeg comes out especially nice and complimented nicely with a touch of spicy cinnamon. This really smells like what I think a pumpkin beer should be; pumpkin followed by Autumn spices. As good as an aroma as a pumpkin beer gets in my opinion. The taste reminds me of pumpkin loaf. You know, the stuff they sell at Starbucks. Take that and add a nice malt backbone and you've got a solid form of this. Rich malts followed by nutmeg flavor finishes nicely with the perfect amount of pumpkin. Possibly my favorite pumpkin beer right here. The mouthfeel is good, the carbonation being nice a subtle to compliment the medium body. This leaves a bit of spiciness on my tongue after a few sips but it still drinks very well. One that I'll certainly buy every season it's available.

Bendurgin, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of azsupra
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - deep caramel color with a finger of cream colored foam which dissipates rather quickly. Relatively low lacing.

S - Delicious. Like the kitchen on thanksgiving. Aroma of nutmeg, brown sugar cinnamon and clove. If I was blindfolded and this was put under my nose I may just guess it was a pumpkin pie I was smelling. Note that as I'm writing this review my kitchen smells like wet dog and my girlfriend febreezing the hell out of everything in sight to remove the odor of said wet dogs. I tried to get my nose up in the pint glass as much as I could but a lot of these smell notes are from memory.

T - surprisingly similar to the smell. Subtle to moderate flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hops are just barely there but certainly help to balance the solid malty character of this beer. As it warms I definitely notice the alcohol creeping further into the taste, but overall it hides its 7% well.

M - Medium body, surprisingly light in my opinion for a beer of this character. I could use a bit more substantial mouthfeel to go with such bold flavors and aromas but it's certainly far from a deal-breaker for me.

D - While certainly not a session beer, I find myself able to drink glass after glass of the stuff. I look back with slight guilt the sheer amount of this stuff I manage to consume each season. I can't, however rate drinkability as a five as I often burn myself out within a month of this stuff hitting store shelves, but my god is it great while it lasts.

Over all the best of the pumpkin beers I have had, right next to Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter (yes I'm a local and must remain loyal).

azsupra, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a brown/amber with a thin fizzy head.

S. Light spices on the nose - cinnamon and nutmeg predominate.

T. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the dominate flavors in the mouth along with a sweet malt profile.

M. Medium bodied with a high carbonation.

D. This is a decent pumpkin beer, but IMO nowhere near some of the imperial pumpkin beers like pumpking and Weyerbacher. It always amazes me that so many people like this so much.

BeerAndBourbon, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-transparent golden orange, thin tan head

S-smells like autumn spices! allspice cinnamon and nutmeg all very strong a beautiful smelling!

T-the spices hit upfront with an impressive strength. the pumpkin slightly comes in with the after-taste, spices still present at that point.

M-medium carbonation and creamy finish!

T-the taste gets a little bitter but its still a wonderful session beer on a brisk autumn evening. a 4-pack disappears very quickly

behind the pumking, this is my favorite autumn beer!

AdamBear, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of OsuJohn
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is amber to tan. Little carbonation

Smell: Nice pumpkin aroma, with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Taste: pumpkin flavor, Cinnamon and nutmeg, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Heavy but balanced, crisp. Leaves a slight pumpkin after taste.

Drinkability: Good- but its a good thing this is sold in a 4 pack not a six.

Serving type: bottle

OsuJohn, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great creamy looking head with lots of nice bubbles that create crsipness to the mouthfeel.

Very amber in color. You are able to smell the pumpkin and differnt spices so you know theres true character to this beer.

You can taste the roasted malt along with distinct pumpkin and spice flavors. As cliche as it sounds this beer would be great with thanksgiving dinner.

A great full flavored beer.

Eriktheipaman, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours orange/copper, two finger off white head.

S: Nutmeg and brown sugar jump out of the glass. Cinnamon also apparent. Pumpkin puree and bready malt provide a great base aroma.

T: A well balanced pumpkin ale. Big body... hearty malt and brown sugar blend with pumpkin puree. Pumpkin spices are also apparent, nutmeg just barely stealing the spotlight. Good trade off between sweet and spicey.

M/D: Thicker side of medium bodied perfectly supports the robustness of this seasonal. A little taste of booze here and there on the back end is somewhat surprising given the abv. Drinkability is good overall.

zoolzoo, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Wow. It is a beautiful hue; reminiscent of a Les Paul sunburst maple finish. The head is quickly relegated to random white wisps sans lace, but the color is so radiant that I will overlook that...

S - The aroma seems to strongly suggest the point in pie-baking where the total caramelization and the fusion of spice and gourd lets you know that the pumpkin pie is done; time to take that bad boy out of the oven!!! As such it is highly delectable, pervasive, and yet not overwhelming.

T - The taste follows the aroma faithfully, with the only new perceptions lent by the roasty brown ale base; the impression is that of washing down a bite of savory-sweet pumpkin pie with a swig of lightly toasty mild brown ale.

M - Lighter than medium, softly effervescent, and good overall.

D - This is a damn good beer.

ktrillionaire, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of kneeland
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm picky about pumpkin ales, and I like most of them. This is one that I liked. It had all of the normal ingredients and tastes (nutmeg, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) None of them were too strong or too weak, a prefect blend.

Beautiful color, as all pumpkin ales are. I wasn't very impressed with the head, seemed a little weak for me. But that's a minor point for an overall great tasting beer.

kneeland, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of BuckyFresh
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Color is light brown to amber with a tan one-finger head. This beer captures all of the fall colors perfectly in one glass! Very little carbonation to speak of. Head retention is good, but the lacing in this one is spectacular. Looks like someone stuck a spiderweb of froth on the inside of my glass.

Smell: Nice pumpkin pie aroma, with nutmeg and malty brown sugar as the major players. A touch of yeast and cinnamon rounds things out. I'm glad that the sweeter pie smells weren't overbearing in the nose. I think the balance was right; it still smelled like a beer and not a cheap air-freshener.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy. All of the individual tastes play well in the pool together here. Good body and pumpkin flavor, but there is still a nice bite and clean finish. Cinnamon and nutmeg linger on even after you're done.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium-bodied. Very well-balanced, crisp, and refreshing. Pretty dry, with a clean finish.

Drinkability: A pretty solid beer. There is the right amount of malt/pumpkin character to add great taste and body, but not too much to make this beer "sweet" or overwhelming.

BuckyFresh, Oct 03, 2010
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,823 ratings.