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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 thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin. The flavor was of sweet malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty tasty brew. I know that I was having this one a little late and likely past its prime going into it, but it still managed to be pretty nice. Not my favorite offering I've had from the style, but still definitely a tasty brew. All aspects of this one were good and in the right portions to keep you wondering what was next. A definite must try for any fan of the style!

Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-light amber w/ an orangish hue

S-ahhhh...cloves, cinnamon, sweetness...pumpkin jumps out and waves hello, brown sugar, nutmeg

T-this is what a pumpkin ale should taste like and this is what other pumpkin ales should be compared to. Pumpkin is the star...the spices are balanced perfectly to compliment the pumpkin but not take the lead.

M-medium body and carbination

D-I have to remind myself that the ABV on this is not all that low b/c I want to drink more and more of it...fall and this beer are made for each other.

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

Appearance. Deep amber with a light haze and a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Cloves, nutmeg, faint molasses.

Taste. Nutmeg, roasty malt, brown sugar, and pumpkin with just a little hop bitterness. Alcohol well hidden and spices are subtle enough to actually be enjoyed.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. Good, easy drinking, and not overdone with offensive spicing. I actually tasted some pumpkin and enjoyed this.

Photo of cavedave
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice finger of off-white head atop a cloudy, dark amber brew.

Smell is the best aroma for a pumpkin beer I've sniffed. Full of pie spice, but not sledgehammeringly, caramel also, with the pumpkin tastefully represented as a sweet under-aroma. Even a wee hint of hop bitter in there.

Taste is medium strength and well balanced presentation of all that is in the nose. This is just right in every way. As it warms the slight bitter of the pumpkin and hop give it a touch of dry in the end of the sip that really cinches the deal.

Mouthfeel is a bit too spice resiny, otherwise the carb. is just right, and the finish is just juicy enough.

This is the best bottled pumpkin beer I've tried, second best over all, and it is one of DFH's best offerings.

Get this even if you have you have yet to find a pumpkin beer you like, this one may convert you, it's really delicious.

Photo of albertjr21
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle enjoyed in DFH pint on 9-5-11:

A: Clear, rusty copper color under a frothy and well kept head.
S: A moderate nose of crisp malt with notes of nutmeg and light cinnamon
M: Malt-centric body with a malty chewy finish.
T: Not so much of the sweeter pumpkin character here that I recall from last year's batch. I detect a more earthy vegetable side of pumpkin. Mild brown sugar and deep roasted nuts fill the finish.


2010 bottle: Into a DFH pint glass on 3.23.11. this yields a clear and bright copper color under a well-sustained head. Also a great lacing throughout...The nose here is a deep and spicy one with notes of brown sugar, nutmeg and that overall lovely pumpkin aroma that fills the air when fresh pumpkin pie is baking...The aroma notes here are all very indicative of what I pick up in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is carbonated to just the right level where the flavors shine through beautifully together and the malt can work its smooth magic on the palate. I can't wait for next year's batch and hope to try this on tap and/or cask as well...

Photo of THECPJ
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: orangish brown with 2 finger head

Smell: spicy, sweet malts, pumpkin

Taste: pumpkin spices

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, crisp do to spices used

Drinkability: one of the better pumpkin beers in the market.


The cpj

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

Received a 4/pk for Christmas. Just finishing the last bottle in February 2011. Just a side note: Bottle was an oddity...it was featured on "Brewmasters" about the Punkin Ale being bottled in the wrong type of bottle. I somehow got a "screw-off" type bottle instead of the normal crown bottle.

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Pours with a one to one and a half finger cream colored, foamy head. This lasts for quite a while and ends up with a thin film on top of the beer. Beer is a deep amber color, slighty opaque. Leaves a copius amount of lacing on the side of the glass during the drinking session.

S - Great smell of spices, like nutmeg and cinnamon. Smells like a dessert.

T - A nicely flavored beer where the nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice are the dominate flavors. A nice caramaly sweetness rounds out this really tasty beer. The alcohol is there but decently disguised behind the various flavors.

M - Nice bite from the carbonation. A slighty bitter aftertaste is evident after each sip but it never takes away from the overall spicy taste.

D - This is a very tasty brew. I've enjoyed this many times from the bottle and I've also enjoyed this on tap after the Dogfish Dash in 2010. I loved it then and it's just as good from the bottle. Very easy to drink several of these. They go down quite nicely.

Overall: Great seasonal beer. Another hit from DFH!


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

It's that time of year where anything pumpkin is mandatory and Dogfish Head has their Punkin' Ale as the answer. First off, I much prefer this pumpkin ale over other pumpkin ales I've had.

I got a moderate head on it that went away quickly. A bubbly film stays at the surface for quite awhile. Color is a clear orange-brown, sort of like a pumpkin or fall colors.

I can smell the brown sugar with the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg giving it more complexity.

The taste is a little disappointing in my opinion. Yes, I can taste the ingredients used but I expected it to be a bit more full-bodied. That's probably just my bias toward full-bodied beers talking but that's my preference. Even though the ABV is only 7%, you can still taste the alcohol well. It's still a good beer though. I definitely recommend it for the Fall season.

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

A: very light brown with some orange hues and a nice white head that leaves little retention
S: smells like pumpkin pie, some nice spice notes, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg
T: I like this beer a lot more when it's aged for a couple months than when it's fresh because the flavors are a lot more mellow and blend together better. It has a very sharp flavor profile when fresh. It has some nice pumpkin and spice flavors and a slightly sweet and spicy finish.
M: decent mouthfeel, it isn't thin or heavy and the carbonation is good.
D: fresh it's a little hard to drink more than one, but after aging a few months it's very easy to take care of two of them.

Overall: A nice seasonal offering from DFH that unfortunately needs a couple months to condition before I can drink it. The peak for my own preference was mid January. If you can contain yourself you should try aging one for a couple months and see how you like it.

Photo of kwjd
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at City Beer store in San Francisco. Reviewing from my notes from November. I thought I was going to miss this beer this year again, but I travelled from the east coast to the west coast and caught up with it. Pours an amber-orange colour with thin white head with some lacing. Smells of pumpkin pie pretty much, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg with brown sugar. Nice sweet flavour. This is just what you'd want in a pumpkin beer.

Photo of warnerry
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 9/12/10

A - Pours a translucent copper color with 2 fingers of tan head that dissipates rather quickly; leaves lots of lacing behind.

S - Rather subtle compared to many other pumpkin/spice beers; some sweet bready malts with only hints of pumpkin spices (nutmeg and cinnamon).

T - A bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Nice hints of pumpkin. A lingering cinnamon/nutmeg aftertaste.

M - Moderate mouthfeel; a bit sticky. Nice amount of carbonation with a dry finish from the spices.

D - Overall, very nice; a pumpkin beer that doesn''t overdo the sweetness or the spices.

Photo of Kakaraht
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crisp amber color with a light head that had good lacing.

S: Cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg are all present along with an earthy smell that all pumpkin beers seem to have.

T: The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, nor are the spices, leaving room for the light malt flavor to come out. There is less sweetness to this than I expected though caramel and candied sugar flavors are still detectable.

M: Light in body, good carbonation and very round flavors.

D: Not my favorite pumpkin beer, it needed a little more thickness to it and a heavier pumpkin flavor and a little less spice. Still a very drinkable beer though.

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

A: poured a translucent golden orange with yellow highlights and had a thin frothy head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I was able to detect different kinds if spices such as all spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg but did sniff out some pumpkin pie character alongside sweet bready malts.

T: The pumpkin flavor is a little bit more apparent on the palate but had cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice accents with caramel notes and a touch of toffee.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, spice, and very mild bitter finish.

D: gotta say it was a solid pumpkin and is probably one of my top five as far as the style goes. It was tasty and drank good.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer that the quality has declined noticably over the years. I still prefer the tap over 12 oz bottle which is usually poured in a pint glass. Pours an orange-copper with a light ring of foam. Sugary aroma with light spice. Alcohol is very present in the taste, with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the background. Wow! Thin carbonation, decent body. What an interesting approach to pumpkin beer - high alcohol really surprises. Great spice, but where's the pumpkin?

Photo of wilkowski
4.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Snifter straight down the middle. I've had this particular bottle in my beer fridge for three months.

A: Bright ruby orange body. Minimal head. The glass is creating an active bubbling up the center.

S: Raw pumpkin. Allspice. Nutmeg. More pumpkin. Smells like an extremely fresh pumpkin pie in your glass. As good as advertised.

T: The spices dominate the taste. Allspice, cinnamon, brown ale malt, brown sugar. No pumpkin flavor on the palate.

M: Crisp and sharp carbonation when cold. Mouthfeel gets significantly smoother and richer as the beer warms. Good balance throughout.

D: Wonderful and warming. Slightly better with age, but after 3 months or 12 months it essentially drinks the same as it does in season. It doesn't age like some of Dogfish's bigger beers. One is good but two are better. This is everything you could hope for in a pumpkin ale.

Photo of PhillyLovesBeer
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. I can't wait until September so I can pick up a case. It has an amber appearance. It had a nice 1/2" white head with good lacing. It has a nice roasted pumpkin and brown sugar scent. It tastes incredible, with the brown sugar and all spice being more relevant than an overwelming pumpkin flavor. I can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg as well, but it's not overbearing. It is a very smooth and drinkable beer, with the alcohol being hard to detect, which is preferential in a beer like this. It lived up to expectations for sure.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 09/17/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a mostly clear burnt orange color with no head.

S: Pumpkin, honey, brown sugar, cinammon, and allspice.

T: Honey, cinammon, cloves, and other fall spices but no discernable pumpkin notes.

M: It has a medium body with low carbonation and some stickiness.

D: This is solid but more pumpkin flavor would be nice.

Photo of tmcelvain
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good fracking beer. take that from someone that likes, but not loves, pumpkin and spiced beers. Thanks to theCPJ for including this in a trade.

Pours pure gold, with a medium head. Smells of spicy malts, with a slight ester smell.

Tastes of bold, full pumpkin spice. I like this one very much for its clarity of taste. Many other pumpkin beers are a muddly, spicy mess, but DFH found a way to impart very clear flavors. The taste is rounded out with cinnamon and nutmeg, set atop a very well balanced malt/hop profile.

Smooth, yet lively mouthfeel providing a very drinkable ale in a style the is typically a one-off for me. Incredible balance.

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is brownish gold with a white head that lingered for most of the drink. The beer is slightly hazy and there's a fair amount of effervescence. Aroma is very spicy, with nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste consists mainly of spices, and I don't taste the pumpkin. The 7.0% ABV is noticeable, but works well. Body is light, mouth feel is crisp with a fair amount of carbonation.

Dogfish Head's description led me a bit astray, as I expected some sweetness and a heavier body. I didn't get either.

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

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA on 9/18/10. Opted to have it without the cinnamon-sugar rimmer (blegh).

A - Pours a ruddy orange with a thin, creamy, khaki-colored head. Nice retention, produces good lace.
S - Smells of sweet caramel malt, pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger.
T - Very close to the nose. Pumpkin is quality, no artificial or "tinny" flavors. Cinnamon is more prominent this year then in previous batches. Obviously a beer more on the sweet side, but never gets cloyingly so.
M - Creamy and smooth with a medium body and carbonation.
D - Very drinkable, one of the only Pumpkin beers that I can stand to have several of.

Photo of kagent777
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from geryeb624, Thanks! Poured into my goblet.

Appearance: A nice light copper, with little head or lacing.

Smell: I can smell most of the spices listed on the label plus a little earthy hops. The brown sugar sweetness is especially nice.

Taste: Now this is a pumpkin ale I could get into. None of the tastes or spices are dominant, they all mingle so nicely. I taste pumpkin, a little cinnamon, and the holiday spices, followed by some hop bitterness. Really balanced and smooth

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side. Slick and oily, coats the mouth with flavor. Carbonation is spot on.

Drinkability: I have not found a pumpkin beer I liked until this one. Oh how I wish this was distributed here. Could have several of these in one sitting. This might be a good one to share with BMC drinkers to open their eyes.

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

Appearance: Pours with a deep copper color with one finger of white head. The head retention is strong and produces good lace. This is a sharp beer to look at.

Smell: The label advertises plenty of spice and this beer doesn't fall short. All the spices on the label are accounted for and they produce wonderful aromas. Yeast and malts can also be detected in the nose.

Taste: In short, this beer does taste like pumpkin pie. That's to say that the spices and pumpkin come through on the tongue. However, I would like this beer to have more pumpkin in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied.

Drinkability: A tasty and thirst quenching brew.

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

DFH Punkin ale from 355ml into DFH globe @ 48*. Pours a nice light amber with a 1" off white head that sticks around for a few minutes. Smells of light caramel malts, light cinnamon, a bit of ginger, and a pleasant hint of pumpkin. This brew tastes good, like really good. Light caramel malts up front with a good dose of the pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon, and a little clove. There is a tad of hoppiness to this brew but its really toned down. Overall a really good pumpkin ale with excellent spice notes. Now I wouldn't regularly pick up 4pk for $9.99 but I managed to find these on sale @ a weird package store for $7.99 a 4pk. I went ahead and bought the last 3 they had, and I'm glad that I did! Cheers!!

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cold Louisiana night and decided to pour this one while watching Sunday night football.
Poured an amber/orange color with frothy white head one finger thick into pint glass
Smells of sugar, malt, spice, pumpkin
Taste of brown sugar malts, nutmeg, spice, cloves, pumpkin is perfect..not too strong
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, almost creamy
Drinkability - I love this beer for the fall time, I will try my hardest to get this beer for fall time every year.
Good job once again Dogfish Head

Photo of Willibomb
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made it a point to try every pumpkin ale I could get my hands on this year to rank them all. I am a fan of the style, so I had to make sure I knew when I saw a good one or when I saw a fake.

I probably had 50 different pumpkin ales this year, and this one was the best one.

Terrapin, brooklyn, buffolo bills came close, but they all had somethin that was missing in the clove flavor, that this beer absolutely delivers.

It does not go for the "pumpkin pie in your mouth" angle that williamsburg or southern tier does, This is a great decision for the drinkability of this beer. It is one of the very few that can be drank like a session beer without giving you a sugar shock.

Great use of cloves, allspice and home made "dragon scales" as they would say at the brewery.

This makes a pumpkin ale that is a must have each fall season!! Too bad it can be so hard to find!!

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