1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,927 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,927
Reviews: 2,008
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 314
Gots: 882 | FT: 10
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,927 | Reviews: 2,008 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Swill5786
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a fantastic deep orange, amber with thin head. Nose is pumpkin and cinnamon. All-spice lingering. Honey-sweet malt presence. Sweet start with high carbonation. Pumpkin dominates the rest, and the all-spice has a clove-like effect. Crisp mouthfeel. Highly drinkable!

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

A: Pours amber, with hints of a warm brown. Nice head with good retention.

S: Strong pleasant aroma, spice up front and a bit of malt, perhaps a little maple syrup or other sweetness from the pumpkin.

T: Balanced, less pumpkin than I would have expected. I did not find the spices to be overwhelming. I could see how the spice could be a bit much if you were drinking this with certain foods. Malt flavors also really come through. Spice comes back in finish. Little or no hops, but wasn't expecting too much of this.

M: Medium body, pleasant amount of carbonation.

D: This is very well rounded. Most pumpkin ales a so full of spice that you may really only want them around the holiday. I think this brew is great year round.

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

THe appearance of this beer is a copper color, with a white foamy head. The aroma smells of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. The taste is sweet, and the pumpkin pie spice is strong. The hops and the malt are almost lost in the spice flavor. The mouthfeel is medium, and I would consider this a drinkable beer.

Photo of ajsuper1221
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely rich copper with a white frothy head that lingers pretty well. This is a pretty beer.

The noes is of the cinnamon and spices with the pumpkin lingering nicely in the background.

Taste is first of pumpkin. While by no means overly pronounced, it was stronger than I was expecting. The pumpkin fades nicely into the cinnamon and spices. Overall it's rather sweet. What I particularly like about this beer is that it definitely has a strong malt balance, and stands as a good beer with pumpkin as opposed to a gimmicky pumpkin beer.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and nicely carbonated.

This is an awesome beer that screams fall. It is delicious, but because it's such a unique taste it's not necessarily one that you would want a bunch of in one sitting. I guess that's nice seeing as it comes in a four pack.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy straw body with noticeable carbonation capped with a small creamy off-white head.

S: Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon are the more prominent spices that stick out with a subtle malty backbone reminding me very much of a brown ale. Hints of floral hops and vanilla are also picked up in the nose, but are very quiet.

T: A more yeasty pumpkin beer with a very dry finish, but a long lasting aftertaste. All the spices and pumpkin from the nose are picked up on the palate in addition to brown sugar and pepper which makes the beer tingle on the tongue. Strong roasted malt flavor amongst all the spices along with a little booze which is surprising. Not too sweet and not too boring.

M: Smooth creamy texture wih lively carbonation and a medium body.

D: Very easy to drink because it's not overly done on the spice end. Would be delicious with a pumpkin pie.

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

My friend bought some of this a year ago and hated it. It had been sitting in his refrigerater ever since. He was happy to let me take them and I'm glad I did!

appearance; cloudy pumpkin orange with a light tan head.

smell; Mostly pumpkin dominated. The usual spices were also present but complimented, not overpowered.

taste; almost perfect, upfront toasty pumpkin, then fizzles into pumpkin pie spices and creamy malts. No one spice takes control and they seem to work together and play the role that hops normally would on the flavor. Only the slightest sweetness, but it's there and works well with the spices.

mouthfeel; creamy and complex with a slick and smooth finish. Almost could be best descibed as a cottony chewyness, far above any other of this style I've tried.

drinkability; sits heavy in the stomach and the ABV is high but it taste so good that these factors are less of an issue.

Photo of kkipple
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single 12oz bottle from Brawley's in Charlotte, 2010 vintage.

A. Cloudy and unfiltered musty dull orange. Attractive, full finger head that falls gently. Pretty.

S. Evident festive pumpkin, fine blend of cinnamon and nutmeg without being overwhelming. Peppy, bright and pleasing - synergistic. Some actual hops peek through - unusual for the style. Starch from the pumpkin wraps into what may be a base Red ale, there's some pie crust and just a hint of vegetal gourd.

T. A lot drier than I expected, the spice and Punkin' are in full force here. A little booze, a starchy, highly (but not overly) spiced brew full of Autumn cheer. Reminds me of an Imperial Wit for some reason... no coriander here, but something about this... I dunno. It's pretty good. No flabby flavor here, this lays it all out. Falls somewhere between Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin and your local generic 5.5% pumpkin brew.

M / D. Not much I'd change here, medium body, mid-full carbonation that knows when to back off. Finish is starchy and allspice with a little hop bitterness on the back-end.

Surprised by how dry this beer is; I recalled it being sweeter and malt-forward. Maybe that's part of it's charm. Nevertheless, this is a solid pumpkin beer and I can see buying a 4 pack a year.... maybe more.

Photo of jdflyer06
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large tulip.

A: A bright orange with a cloudy body. Good carbonation and very little head that leaves a small bit of lacing around the sides.

S: Sweet, almost like bubblegum. As it warms, picking up nutmeg, cinnamon, some floral hop and other spicy aromas and some earthiness. The smell captures the essence of a cool, fall day and pumpkin is obviously just one of many things going on here.

M: Good carbonation with some slight creaminess. The finish is fairly dry with lingering alcohol.

T: Surprisingly boozy. I thought from the smell that this one would be a flavor monster. Roasted malt dominates with a spicy finish. As it warms, cinnamon and nutmeg shine through. I'm having a hard time picking up the pumpkin at first, but as it lingers, it starts to show up. Let this one warm a bit to get everything it has to offer.

O: Pretty good, but I still think Schlafly makes the best pumpkin beer out there. Still a solid effort and I'd pick up a sixer of this again if I saw it. Pretty drinkable but I think I'd get bored with it after a few.

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a slightly cloudy light copper color--vigorous carbonation briefly lifting a billowy white head.

The smell is sweet and spicy with hints of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and some alcohol.

Smooth and slightly prickly, this brew tastes of more pumpkin pie spices. Sweet malts are complemented by the gentle warming of alcohol. Medium-bodied and very drinkable.

Photo of erikdwallace
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite Pumpkin Ales. Full of really robust flavor and exactly what I'd expect from Dogfish. Deuce put it best when he said it tasted like drinking Pumpkin Pie. Couldn't say it better myself.

Sampled during the Winter 2010 tasting, brought by Deuce.

Photo of axeman9182
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Punkin pours a deep, dark orange, that lightens and clears considerably when properly lit. The beige head rises to about two fingers in stature, but doesn't stick around all that long, nor does it leave much evidence of its former existence. Nose is pretty much what one would expect from a well made pumpkin ale. Pumpkin comes through, along with an intriguing blend of spices (cinnamon and nutmeg come through better than the allspice). Brown sugar was advertised on the bottle, and while it didn't show up in the aroma it comes through just fine on the front end of each sip. That and an improved allspice presence among the pumpkin and spices on the back end really take this beer to the next level. Carbonation is fine, middle of the road in terms of intensity. Punkin could stand to be a little bit more rich though, the body comes across as a little thin for a decent sized pumpkin ale. Punkin is a very good beer, it's got a great flavor but some of the other aspects are just a bit off. Still, another quality beer from Dogfish Head.

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

I had to try this one. I picked up a couple of these. First off it has a darker golden appearance. THe scent is there with the punkin and nutmeg.The taste at first takes a little time to get used to because this isn't something you have all the time.Taste is punkin all the way. But once my taste buds got used to it.Drinkability became very easy.I also felt that 7.2 abv.I was ready to drink more and buy more the next day.Only thing is you get four for 8.99 or 9.99.Man I want at least six for that price.So I can share some with punkin lovers.But I will definitely buy more next fall.

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sampled Punkin first at the brewpub, but this review is from a bottle. Batch 10F from 2010. $12 for a 4 pack. Served in a wine glass.

A: Pours with an average head of 1 1/2 fingers, off-white in color, fizzy and rapidly diminishing. The body is light amber orange in color and is ridiculously clear. No lacing to speak of.

S: Toasted (if not mildly roasted) malts of cereal, caramel and bread, reminiscent of the smell of the crust of wheat bread. Hops are light, piney and resiny. Light earthy leafy yeast.

T: Dogfish Head exercises restraint with their use of spices. Sure, there are the expected notes of allspice, nutmeg and cinammon, but in Punkin, the spices come off as delicately incorporated instead of the main flavor component. The pumpkin flavor seems natural and fleshy instead of artifical. Freshness is immediately apparent. Suggestions of brown sugar make their way to the palate as well as a very light smokiness plus a light boozines on the very back end.

M: Light to medium body with a fizzy effervescence albeit slightly undercarbonated in my opinion.

D: This brew performed much better on draft than it did in the bottle. The mouthfeel in the draft version was perfect. On tap, the pumpkin and spice flavors were also more subdued, which is my preference for this style and, in my opinion, helps to increase this brew's drinkability. DFH's Punkin Ale is my second favorite pumpkin beer this season and the perfect pumpkin beer to enter the fall season with.

[This beer earns a score of 4.35 on draft]

Photo of jera1350
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark coppery colored beer with a thin tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

Getting quite a bit of pumpkin in the nose along with pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin is like fresh squash. Not sure how much I dig this part.

Roasty malt with spices, but not really pumpkin pie like, and a strong booze presence. Really reminds me of a spiced dark rum. Not a lot of sweetness going on. Just not really digging this one a whole lot in the flavor department.

Quite thick with very creamy carbonation. Really nice almost chewy feel.

I'm struggling to put down a whole one of these. It really tastes more like a winter warmer to me. Not as pumpkin ale like as I was thinking it was going to be. I will not be having this one again anytime soon. There are several other better pumpkin beers than this one.

Photo of ramseye4
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass. I have three of these left for thanksgiving, might as well review one now though. Pours a copper/burnt orange color, semitransparent. Surprisingly large head with outstanding lacing. Smells of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, smells like a bakery. Massive amounts of cinnamon come to the forefront of the palate, with nutmeg and other, more subtle spices coming to prominence halfway through the taste, and the alcohol pokes its head through during the finish in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is decent, the finish is a bit rough, but it is full bodied and filling. This beer is definitely a sipper, but I came back time and time again for this one and I'm glad I saved a few for next thursday.

Photo of DamDweller
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 2010

Very nice head forms when this beer is poured. The hue is a nice reddish copper. The head remains for some time and leaves clear lines of retention. The beer effervesces continuously helping to maintain the head. The smell is predominantly cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight hint of pumpkin and rye. Taste is all about lightly sweetened pumpkin pie. The dominant flavors are nutmeg and cinnamon, but the focus on those spices helps make this beer quite drinkable. The beer seems to be a little light on the body. This beer to coat the tongue a little more considering it's a fall/winter beer. All in all, this is a good beer, and if one plans on drinking more than one, all is well.

Photo of lester619
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep orangish copper/brown. Bubbly head that settles at a thin film after about ten seconds. Very strong pumpkin pie spice smell. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, anise, all these and probably more are in there. There is also a fresh pumpkin smell like when you carve into a jack-o-lantern. Flavor is malty sweet and fruity at first. More of that fresh pumpking smell/taste comes out. The spice takes over every other flavor quickly. In the end, the only other flavor is a hint of booze on my lips. I've never been a fan of the spiced pumpkin beers. Every fall I try to keep an open mind, but the spices always turn me off. It was hard to finish the bottle. If you are into pumpkin beers, this is a probably a great one. It's just not for me.

Photo of Chico1985
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical pumpkin-beer orange with a good 1-finger white head. Vapor-like sediment floating about. Head turns to a ring eventually leaving spots of lace.

Sugary pumpkin, spice, a bit of roasted malt and caramel in the nose. Alcohol as it warms. Notes of something odd I can't pinpoint..smells a little odd.

The pumpkin and spices listed on the label are there and good, along with some floral and grapefruit hops, but not much to it other than that. Slight bready notes. Sweet but not quite cloying. Boozy on the finish.

Decent mouthfeel but it is boozy, tastes sorta artificial/cough syrupy for some reason.

Actually one of the better pumpkin ales I've tried but Smuttynose's kills this one, more depth and seems more authentic.

Photo of btkennett
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Was craving a Pumpkin Ale after drinking PLENTY of Shipyard Pumpkinhead while in NH this week. Not much to choose from close to Thanksgiving, as, like you know, its largely a "fall" brew.

While I personally still prefer the smell and mouthfeel of the Shipyard, I must say that this is a STELLAR beer. I think I'm headed back to buy the rest to have on Thanksgiving!

Photo of fo5s
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12ozer poured into my heavy seas glass. Meant to go for a smaller pumpkin beer tonight, but after pouring noticed that this one rings in at 7%. Oh well. Bottled in 2010 3C printed on the bottle - no clue what that means as far as dates, but should be fresh.

A- pour is cloudy, light copper. decent head.

S- nutmeg, nutmeg, nutmeg and a few other spices.

T- slightly sweet, muted hops. Nutmeg all the way through, with hints of its supporting cast (cinnamon, allspice?). Really not much pumpkin to this at all. The spices are smooth throughout though - lacks the kick you might expect. Slightly warming.

M- slick, but a touch chewy. Not dry per-se, but something with the nutmeg makes it feel that way.

D- Not bad, but not great. Honestly wouldn't want more than 12oz of this.

Overall an interesting beer, but not really what I'd hoped for, and not up to par with Dogfish's other offerings. In the past, this was an in your face nutmeg bomb, but it's now evolved into a more balanced nutmeg beer. I'm satisfied with my 12oz and may revisit in a year, but I'm glad this one doesn't have 5 friends in the fridge, and I won't be anxiously waiting for this one to come around again.

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

Since this is basically the last hoorah for pumpkin ales for the fall season, I decided to order this one on tap at the Brewpub in Fairfax, Virginia. I think my wife and I (with the help of many friends) went through about two cases of this stuff last year. Oddly enough, this is the first time I've tried this all season.

A: Brilliant, cloudy and peppery orange color, with about an inch worth of head and nice bubbly carbonation.

S: Smells like [you guessed it]: pumpkin pie. Actually, the spices are very well tempered here and it avoids the pitfalls of so many in that it's not a cinnamon-nutmeg bomb. The gourd comes through the longer I sit, wait for it to warm a bit, and whiff.

T: This is first and foremost a brown ale, and as such, the brown sugar hits the palate first, followed by the usual gang of pumpkin spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. All of these complement the pumpkin quite nicely.

M: Not boozy in any way, the brown sugar is surprisingly tempered well by the gourd, and the carbonation plays a nice role in balancing out the ensemble. Not bitter in any way.

D: I've read the posts that say that the Punkin' Ale this year is not as good as the one last year, better than the one last year, blah, blah, blah, blah... Whatever... I totally see the appeal of this beer to thousands, making it one of the top selling pumpkin ales (or seasonal brews in general) on the market. I dig it, and totally respect it.

Photo of JonathanFalco
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good pumpkin beer on of the best I have tasted because you get a "real" feel of the spices and body is good. Tastes similar to a pumpkin pie. Warning: Could be too sweet for some. This comes in a four pack and I am always sad wishing had I more once it is gone. Seasonal beer as well.

Photo of youngleo
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to about a one inch head. Head was slightly orangish in color. Head didnt hang around very long but did leave a little lacing. Ale itself was kind of a goldish brown. Had a sweet smell along with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Wasnt as strong as what I had expected. The flavor was actually mild. just of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Then again, nothing overwhelming. All the flavors were on the mild side. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was about right. I wouldnt mind a few of these at Halloween time. I just dont think it would make a good session beer.

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

This beer poured an orangish/copper color and had a large amount of carbonation. The beer had an aroma of pumpkin, spice-nutmeg I believe. It had a fairly strong pumpkin and nutmeg taste. It was smooth, light, and very drinkable for a fall pumpkin beer.

Photo of mbusster88
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A: Orange "pumpkin" color to this one. White head with small bubbles very nice. Tons of carbonation off the bottom of the glass. Lacing is great on this one!

S: Get the nutmeg, some caramel notes and bready characters. Also get some generic spice notes and little hop fragrances.

T: Really like the hoppy flavor in the middle of the tongue, bready character to the body. Also get caramel, the nutmeg and allspice in the taste. Love the light warming feel of this one at 7%.

M: What can I say this beer is wonderful and clean, and just feels good. No dryness or odd flavors here.

D: This one is a great fall/winter beer. Drinking it on a cold NY night, and its really nice. Love the crispness you get here, especially with the carbonation and spice characters.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,927 ratings.