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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

4,724 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,724
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: 4,724 | Reviews: 1,915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merlin48


3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 edition. 12 oz bottle pours a clear orange/copper amber with a small beige head. Good retention and some patchy lacing. Cinnamon and allspice fronnt a bold array of pie spices that assault the nose. Not at all timid. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and some spicy bite. Tastes like pumpkin pie, with some essence of fresh pumpkin, caramel malt, and aggressive pie spicing. Some mild heat from the 7% abv adds to the fresh baked pumpkin pie effect. Spices dominate all the way through, however, and are a bit overdone. Still, nicely drinkable and always one of the better pumpkin ales to be found.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 15:13:21 | More by merlin48
Photo of rowew


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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with a bottled year notched on the side. This one is from last year, but it has been well kept.

Appearance: Pours a red-brown color with a light haze. Head is thin, but resiliant.

Smell: Pumpkin pie in a glass - heavy on the spices, with just a hint of alcohol coming through as well.

Taste: Again - pumpin pie. Starts off with a very creamy mouthfeel and an almost buttery taste. The spices come in and blend well with the malt sweetness.

Overall impression: This one was a Monday morning post-Oktoberfest hair of the dog. Very tasty - great for desert (or breakfast!). Definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2005 17:32:31 | More by rowew
Photo of weeare138


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark amber with some faint bubbles working their way up to the top. Thin off white head drops to a small film and leaves tiny traces of lace.
Smell is of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin, along with a touch of allspice.
Taste is of all the aforementioned aromas in a chewy mix.
Mouthfeel is light-medium carbonation with a mildly sweet and bready feel.
Drinkability is decent. One of the better pumpkin beers out there.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2005 19:51:12 | More by weeare138
Photo of ClearDog


3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance -- Pumpkin orange. The pour produces little head, that doesn't stay around for long. Very thin lacing.

Smell -- Pumpkin. This is the first pumpkin beer I've actually smelled pumpkin. Weak scent of pumpkin pie spices and cloves.

Taste -- Not bad. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've tried this season (I've also tried Lakefront and New Holland). It faintly reminds me of pumpkin pie. You can definitely taste the pumpkin here.

Mouthfeel -- Medium and slightly astringent. Slight carbonation.

Drinkability -- Of all of the pumpkin beers I've tried this year, this is the most drinkable. I could probably handle three bottles at most in one sitting. The pumpkin style is not one you can stick to all night. There is a slight possibility I may buy another four-pack before the fall is over.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 18:31:09 | More by ClearDog
Photo of Padron4KM


3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, "packaged in" date on side of bottle not marked.
Assuming it is this years release since DFH is new to AZ this year.

Pours a rich clear amber with a thin tan head.
Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Pumpkin is barley evident.

Pumpkin is more evident in the flavor. Tastes of canned pumpkin pie mix, with lots of cinnamon added.

Finish is heavy on the cinnamon. Not as sweet as I thought it would be, (that's good), But the cinnamon kind of overpowers everything in the end. One is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 07:32:43 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of futaboots


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My favorite pie with my favorite, uh, fermented beverage.

This tastes much better than I remember it tasting last year. I don't know why. Anyway, I liked this beer when I had it last year, I really like it now.

The overall impression here is that this is a beer first and foremost. A tasty and slightly strong brown ale, with some spiciness from the alcohol, and strong malty flavor. Aroma smells faintly like pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin and spices are always creeping around the edge, blending well with the traditional malty beer flavors of raisins, grape juice, chocolate and caramel. This is a sweet beer, but never overwhelmingly so. I can't detect much hop flavor or aroma, but the bittering hops are certainly doing their job to keep the other flavors from getting out of hand.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. Carbonated to perfection I think. I also dig the light brown color of the beer, which seems to have a tinge of orange.

My favorite pumpkin beer. Well, one of two that are distributed in my town, so I guess that's not saying much. But it's still an excellent beer, as far as beers go.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 03:21:30 | More by futaboots
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours a brilliantly clear, ruby-amber color and is topped by a frothy, large bubbled tan colored head. The aroma is lightly spiced with notes of nutmeg, sweet brown sugar and allspice. The beer has a certain satisfying fullness to the palate, a far cry from the thin wan limp body on the Buffalo Bill’s version, which lightly coats the mouth as the beer goes down. The beer is lightly sweet with a brown sugar like note and a bit of caramel. The spices are evident, yet at a bearable level, such that they don’t dominate this beer. I get notes of nutmeg, allspice, perhaps some soft cinnamon, caramel, molasses, slight ginger in the finish, and perhaps a hint of pumpkin-like vegetal flavor. Because of the spices, this beer finishes with a light astringency, and perhaps a bit of hotness.

The spicing level and the fullness of this beer designate this a bit more than a quaffing brew, slow sips seem mandatory, and I would be hard pressed to down a glass of this beer. This is all ok though, as I don’t mind savoring the interplay of spice and caramelized sugar notes. Where is the pumpkin? I am not too sure, as is typical in spiced versions the pumpkin is really not noticeable. This beer is quite enjoyable and is one of the better examples of the style that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 00:33:17 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty orange colored brew with a not-quite-eggshell head. Head retains pretty well and leaves some lace.

Strong nutmeg aroma with some cinnamon and allspice. Bready malt is noticeable as well.

Lots of spices everywhere on the palate, including hop spiciness. Bready malt takes a backseat to the pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. Hops prevail towards the end with a crisp, spicy bite. Spices don't overpower since the hops keep them in line. Lasting bitterness in the aftertaste.

Good carbonation and hops give this a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

A pretty well-balanced pumpkin beer. I think I like it a little better than the Cottonwood one, which I drank a few of last year at this time before our ABV cap was lifted.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2005 00:47:05 | More by hyuga
Photo of Ellbert


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

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice head however it doesn't last too long. The head fades to a small lace. The color is an orange amber color and is very clear.

Smell: The smell is awesome. Light pumpkin in the nose. A lot of spices are in the aroma which make this awesome. I can really smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. The malt kicks in and mixes with the spiciness of the spices. Fantastic!

Taste: Sweet at first. Spices kick in fast. This beer reminds me more of a Christmas beer. The hops leave a strange bitterness towards the end. The alcohol then kicks in to leave some dry spiciness.

Mouthfeel: A little thin but a decent consitency

Overall a very good beer. The best pumpkin beer I have had.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2005 01:01:30 | More by Ellbert
Photo of jakester


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper/orange with a 1/2 finger head of cream colored bubbles. The head quickly drops to islands and a ring, with no lacing. Carbonation looks average.

Aroma is very spicy, with notes of nutmeg, cinammon and allspice. Smells sweet, with maybe some pumpkin aroma in there. It's so spicy I can't really determine hop smells.

Flavor is spicy; cinammon, allspice and nutmeg all come through nicely. There is some hop bitterness there, but not much. Nor is there a detectable hop flavor. Not real sure what pumpkin would taste like in a beer, but this tastes different. Pretty much residual sugar, but not cloying; I like this. Pumpkin flavor, (I guess), is subtle. Aftertaste is spicy and sort of sweet.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with decent carbonation. Something is resiny on the tongue; not sure what it is. Finish is sweet and resiny.

This is my first pumpkin ale, and I'd have to say it's pretty good. The spices are pronounced, but not overbearing. The pumpkin is somewhat muted, but present. I'd say this is well balanced, and pretty damn yummy!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2005 00:47:06 | More by jakester
Photo of Stubbie1


2.78/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A beer that pours a deep copper color. A slight copper-ish/tan head on top. Fades to a thin lace then spotty patches. So far so good but after the appearance, this beer falls apart. Aroma is of spice, nutmeg cinnamon a bit of malt but very little pumpkin. I found it (the pimpkin) hard to find. Taste matches the aroma. Where is the pumpkin? I was hoping for a gritty earthy tone of the pumpkin to complement the spices but was let down. Medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is great if you’re into spiced beers but as for a pumpkin beer goes…there are better

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 15:33:50 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of BierManVA


3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first ever pumpkin bier. I have been avoiding trying this style for many years. Just seems a little weird to me.

Bier is orange-copper in hue and has little carbonation. The taste is surpisingly crisp with excellent balance of flavors. Clove, nutmeg, anise, white pepper. Light on the nose.

Finishes a little dry though I could have a few of these. Definately a fall bier.


Serving type: bottle

09-10-2005 17:36:47 | More by BierManVA
Photo of LPorter33


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

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Light golden brown, semi transparent, minimal head and lacing. Pleasant looking but nothing spectacular.

Smell = Very spicy and fruity. Nutmeg is present along with a bit of cinnamon. A nice hop kick comes through too.

Taste = Deliciously spiced and flavored. Not overly sweet yet the cinnamon and nutmeg makes it feel like you're drinking the essence of pumpkin pie. Has enough hops to provide a bitter edge. This is a masterfully crafted pumpkin ale. Hides the 7% well.

Overall = By far the best pumpkin ale I've had. I look forward to soon comparing this one against Smuttynose's version.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 23:40:41 | More by LPorter33
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper hue with a thin beige head that dissapates quickly. Aroma is pumpkin, spices, sweet caramel malt, and vanilla. Flavor begins with a light pumpkin and spices flavor followed by a slightly sweet malt character, and a lightly bitter hops profile and a bit of an alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting, but not very pumpkin tasting and overall not impressive. Mouthfeel is crisp with medium body and moderate carbonation. Descent but there are cheaper local pumpkin brews that are superior (Cottonwood).

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 01:03:27 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brilliant coppery orange with a medium white head that quickly fades and a bit of carbonation streaming throughout.

Smell is nicely subdued, but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin all come through pretty clearly on top of a solid malt backbone and against a slightly bitter hop scent.

Flavor is slightly sweet and heavy on the nutmeg and allspice over the pumpkin, but this is often the case in pumpkin ales and doesn't really bother me. It's by no means an overspiced mess. My one real complaint with the taste is that the alcohol is a bit hot and apparent for my liking. Overall, though, this one shows a good amount of restraint and makes a pleasant-drinking pumpkin brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 02:32:00 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of eveninghawk


3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I need to start off up front on this one... I wish it smelled as good as it tastes, because it is oh so yummy and I wish I were smelling that yumminess.

Pours an orangey-brown, small head, and the sugars really stick here. The beer has a great sweet overtone that's just festive enough to be a good pumkin... and the cinnamon/nutmeg really comes through, maybe a little more than the pumkin does. I need to say again, it tastes oh so yummy if you like the pumkin-pie in a bottle feel that you get from pumkin ales.

Of course, the fact that it tries to be a badass while being a sweet lil' pumpkin only adds to the joy.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2005 01:50:59 | More by eveninghawk
Photo of finepaws

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, orange, coppery, brown with a small lite tan head with a creamy swirl that remains throughout. Smells amazing, lots of allspice sweetness. Wasn't as impressed with the taste. Wanted more pumpkin flavor. Maybe more cinnamon too. Some hop profile, seems floral. Has a hot flavor from the alcohol level. Almost tastes perfumey and pepperish. Mouthfeel is ok. Average malt body, with ok carbonation. Somewhat spicey on the lips. Warming too. Overall drinkability, I've had better. This is ok, but I think it needs to be pared with something to tone it down, like vanilla ice cream.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2005 03:02:11 | More by finepaws
Photo of AltTrinker

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 12 oz. brown, freshness dated, bottle.
Appearance: Pours a turbid, orangy-copper color with a thick, white head that slowly dissipates to one-half inch in a few minutes. Lacy patterns remain longingly on the glass.
Smell: Spices predominate. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mix with a fruity orange / pumpkin essence. As it warms, caramel and fruity overtones make their presence with the pumpkin coming in strongly at the end of the glass.
Taste: The hoppy bitterness and spices predominate over the maltiness and sweetness in a pleasant way. The pumpkin flavor comes at mid mouthfeel, finishing with the spiciness from the nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is clean with subtle lingering hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light body for this 7% alc. by vol. ale.
Drinkability: Although I generally gravitate toward the German brews with their adherence to the restricted ingredients of malt, hops, water, and yeast, this is a pleasant, enjoyable ale typical for the creative brews produced by Dogfish Head.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2005 17:21:22 | More by AltTrinker
Photo of kpantz


3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: What a way to ring in fall just a bit early...a wonderfully balanced fruit beer.

Obtained 24-Aug in NJ atop a mound of Punkin' Ale cases. No freshness date on the bottle (year not notched).

Appearance: Pours golden orange and clear. Just LOOKS like autumn. Thin head that all but disappears, but leaves just enough to protect the pumpkiny goodness.

Smell: Never did I think you could actually smell the pumpkin in a pumpkin ale, but it's here. Unmistakable. No hops in the nose, and that's spot on for a pumpkin ale.

Taste: Dogfish does it again. I seem to remember last year's batch being a little sweeter, but this is very nice as well. Good malt backbone, and you can definitely get the spices here, too. Of course, the pumpkin is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Glorious. Perfect thickness to it and just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Are you kidding? I'll drink this until I see the Great Pumpkin. 7% ABV is hidden, and I'm sure I could put away the 4-pack before I knew it.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 23:21:57 | More by kpantz
Photo of GnomeKing


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

Fruit beers generally taste gimmicky and imbalanced to me, but when they work, they're among my very favorites. Dogfish Head knows the trick. Along with the great Aprihop, Punkin' is one of the best fruit beers out there, and one of my favorite beers overall. Pumpkin is such a nice fruit to blend with beer. It doesn't overwhelm the beer or add cloying sweetness. It mixes perfectly with hops and other beer flavors. Punkin has nice spices, a subtle sweetness, a fantastic smell, and an aftertaste that is complex and endlessly pleasurable. I love this beer. Its use of pumpkin is nuanced enough to allow this to be a session beer. Although it's seasonal, it could be sipped year-round. It's that good, that smooth, and that well-made.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 03:29:34 | More by GnomeKing
Photo of kaszeta

New Hampshire

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

Sampled at the brewery.

This beer pours with a thin head and an amber body. The aroma is mostly that of the spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice notes, but more subtly applied than is usual for a pumpkin beer. Tastewise, the pumpkin taste itself is very mild, and the spice is applied sparingly enough that it complements the malt flavors of the beer without overpowering them. Similarly, it has a nice smooth mouthfeel, with very little tannic feel from the spices. Very smooth, and pleasant.

I don't usually like novelty beers like pumpkin ales (they tend to hit you upside the head with too much spice), but this one is actually fairly pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2005 23:57:11 | More by kaszeta
Photo of BEERchitect


3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. They put a lot of stuff in it to legitimize it per style. Looks creamy and carbonated coper to orange. Loosely knit carbonation that may fade, yet laces nicely. Smelly sweet fruity and malty albeit ordinary. Spiciness and sharpness give character. Tastes moderately sweet, yet gives extra complexity with allspice, cinnemon, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, and body building malts. Spices give a lot of complexity, yes still conveys hop balance and alcoholic warming through the body. Finishes a dry and harsh in the alcohol--fusal. Utimately a pumpkin flavored beer worth drinking. Dogfish Head is simply incapable of brewing a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 06:41:47 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of DrJay


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep coppery orange, moderate off-white head. Aromas of cinnamon, pumpkin and malt, maybe a bit of something like nutmeg. Slightly aggressive carbonation, full, slightly viscous body. Pumpkin sweetness to start, some bitterness, blend of spices, very nice. Finishes very balanced, slight spiciness and alcohol warmth. Quite a drinkable brew. Definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2005 00:13:02 | More by DrJay
Photo of LuckySevens82


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of orbitalr0x.

Pours a nice pumpkiny orange with a slightly off white cap. Retention is nice, lacing leaves something to be desired though.

Smell is cinnamon, clove, sweet caramel malts, pumpkin, and a little bit of fruit (peaches, pears, some green apple)

Taste is pumpkin, big cinnamon flavors, clove, slight caramel, same fruitiness, and just a hint of spicy hop flavor.

Overall, a great pumpkin beer. DFH really knows their fruit beers, and this is no exception (although technicall a gord beer). Anyway, I've had this one several times and while it's a fine beer to drink on occasion, I just can't see drinking it on a regular basis (which is why the drinkability score is so low). That said, an good beer for the style, but not really up my alley.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 01:56:11 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of Chadbrew


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

Yummy looking off-white head that settles down to a nice thin film that hides a very clear copper colored brew. Nice even lacing that shimmers iridescent as I tilt the glass back to take a mouthful.
Speaking of mouth, it's pretty good - solid medium body, light carbonation, and just a touch of alcohol in the nose.
The smell is like all-spice and alcohol. There is definitely some "punkin" in there too but it's not overwhelming.
Taste - I think this is where this beer shines. Still a great beer loaded with malt and hops but balanced with a variety of spices. There are some pumpkin undertones but over-all the pumpkin is very mild.
A very drinkable beer. Nice cozy feeling after finishing a couple, sort of like a nice buzz on Thanksgiving.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 10:28:22 | More by Chadbrew
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 4,724 ratings.