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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,639 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,639
Reviews: 1,974
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 297
Gots: 747 | FT: 6
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: 5,639 | Reviews: 1,974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of office888
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light amber color with foaming white head.

S: Aroma of pumpkin, and other spices. Amazing coincidence, eh?

T: Slight taste of pumpkin. I get more nutmeg, and brown sugar than I do of the pumpkin or the cinnamon. The notes are very light, nothing overpowering.

M: Medium consistency, well carbonated. Small bit of "bite" on the end from the carbonation, slightly syrupy from the brown sugar.

D: Superb flavor with nothing too overpowering. VERY drinkable. I could go through a 4pack with no problems at all. Definitely, a "sit down and drink me endlessly" beer.

office888, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled Sept 10, 2009. I've been reluctant to try this one as I'm not a big fan of pumpkin in general, but was recently marked down at a local store so I picked a 4-pack up to check it out.

Pours amber with a one finger off white head, reduces to a whispy covering, leaves very little lace. Doesn't really look like a brown ale, too light.

Aroma is heavily spiced, like gingerbread cookies, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, some caramel, bread and grains.

Flavor is sweet and spiced, sweet caramel malts and ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin. Spice lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, medum carbonation.

As far as spiced beers goes, I put this somewhere between Anchor OSA (very good) and Sweetwater Festive Ale (OK).

elgiacomo, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of JMD
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light copper color with frothy white head that leaves light lacing on the glass.

S: Strong aroma of pumpkin and fall spices. Some sweet carmel malt as well.

T: Tastes like pumpkin pie. Fresh pumpkin upfront with cinnimon, nutmeg and some clove. Sweet carmel malt with hints of vanilla. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium bodied with a little more carbonation than I was expecting.

D: I love pumpkin beers and this is one of the best. Great flavor, and well crafted. I look forward to this one every year.

JMD, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber poured with a small amount of head. Nothing noteworthy concerning lace or head retention, however I may have not been aggressive enough with my pour.

Smells exactly like a pumpkin pie. Spices come through, with nutmeg being the most prominent. Brown sugar however is not very detectable on the nose.

Light pumpkin taste is noticeable first followed by nutmeg. A burst of bitterness hangs around for a little bit, finally giving way to some bready notes, brown sugar, and very faint cinnamon. Aftertaste is dry and crisp. Overall very mellow and balanced.

Creamy and mouth coating with high carbonation. The aforementioned combination with the enjoyable interchange between the malt and hops character makes this brew highly drinkable.

TheJollyHop, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a clear orange with a pinky worth of slightly off white head.
oh man, a strong pumpkin smell. nutmeg and cinnamon right along with it, caramel and nuts too.
the taste matches the smell, nutmeg being the dominant spice.
mouthfeel is great too, crisp, carbonation is great. no aftertaste.
overall: this is my second pumpkin ale, and its january but it makes my long for the fall again.

JordonHoltzman, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of Alf7247
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 7/29/09. Served in a pint glass.

Poured a clear orange/copper color with a white one finger head that went away shortly after. Minimal lacing. Smelled of muted pumpkin pie spices and malts. Taste was the same, but more pronounced. Smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Nice experience with the first pumpkin ale I've ever had.

Alf7247, Jan 07, 2010
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange copper. Small offwhite cream-colored head. Light lacing.

Sweet caramel and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg). Sweet fruity and earthy pumpkin. Like a pumpkin pie!

Sweet caramel, cookie pie crust. appropriately and not overpoweringly spiced with clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Earthy fruity pumpkin. A bit of earthy herbal bitterness. And a touch of bourbon from the alcohol.

very smooth, well carbonated, med body, slightly dry, not as watery/cidery as many other pumpkin brews

A damn good pumpkin brew. One of the better ones I've had. A decent amount of pumpkin and not too much spices with a smooth medium body. Very drinkable, good fall brew that your mom/sis/grandma would even like.

CHILLINDYLAN, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of joepais
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jay
Bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass produced a finger worth of white head that goes to a lace. The body of the brew was amber in color.

There is a big old cinnamon and nutmeg aroma coming of the glass. The flavor is like the pumpkin pie I ate this weekend.
Medium feel in my mouth and good carbonation for my tongue

I am not a big fan of the style but this one isn't that bad

joepais, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Macy's in WR. Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice sunset orange color. Very bright, almost copper-like, sheen to the beer's body. Very hefty white head. Smells like a cinnamon roll. Taste was spot on for a pumpkin ale. Lots of Thanksgiving spices like sugar, cardamon, and cloves. Fairly thick body but light enough to make this quite drinkable. A bit high in abv for a normal pumpkin ale, hence the 4 pack route. A good fall beer from DFH.

morebeergood, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of Minotaur
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of pumpkin pie with very little head after only a few seconds. It is clear and crisp looking. On tap it is slightly frothier but into a pint glass is very still.

The appearance and aroma - pumpkin pie spices of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon - combined with the appearance evoke autumn.

The taste is sweet and malty with only very light hop bitterness. It is loaded with spice flavor: it truly tastes like a mouthful of spice and the soft flavor or squash holding it together. There is also a slight alcohol presence that adds warmth.

It is extremely smooth with a thin mouthfeel, making it very drinkable.

This is by far my favorite autumn ale. It works extremely well with just a little bit (or a lot) of age.

Minotaur, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of thequeen711
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version of Dogfish Head's Pumkin Ale is quite better than the previous years batch. Full bodied, spiced brown ale, nose and taste of pumpkin, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, makes this brew flavourful and tasty. Mouthfeel is light, and taste is so quenchable. This year's batch just overcomes flavours from Dogfish past! They have the best batch by far! Thanks for getting better...can't wait for next year's batch!!

thequeen711, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Richardberg
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into a water glass. Small cream head tops a fizzy amber liquid, translucent with orange & brown fringes.

S - sweet potato, clove, caramel malt, cinnamon

T - starts sweet, ample hopping makes itself known but never turns bitter, no alky noticeable. spices become more prominent, with cardamom & nutmeg joining the party.

M - moderate body, crisp, well carbonated, dry finish

D - very easy, doesn't feel like a 7%, spice flavors are well integrated and not too strong, nails the style without becoming a caricature

Richardberg, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of earthboundagain
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From Notes:

A: A mix between amber and copper in color, the head is off white and settled into some slight lacing.

S: Ok smells like pumpkin pie mix, with some brown sugar as well.

T: Hmm, a slight semi sweet pumpkin with the pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, a slight clove flavor as well. A touch of brown sugar in this one as well.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is as well. The beer has a slick felling as well but not overly slick.

D: I could not have more then a few at a time, the pumpkin pie spice rush would be too much for me to take.

Thoughts- This beer is more spice and less pumpkin, but the flavor is not overpowering like some I have had. This beer is a good stab at the style and something to drink around Halloween.

earthboundagain, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always wary of Dogfish head, sometimes they like being weird for the sake of being weird, and charging you a pretty penny for it. This is not one of those beers.

Pours like nothing special, wouldn't know this was a pumpkin beer by looking at it. Aromas are delic, a hybrid of pumpkin pie and low alpha acid hops. Taste, one of the better (if not the best) pumpkin ales out there. No progression though, and you probably don't want to drink more than 1 of these per sitting, kind of a desert type beer, but not too sweet.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of Amalak
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a copper color with some small bubbles and a good foamy head and mild lacing. Slight brown sugar scent.

It has a nice balance of sugar, pumpkin spice and malt. Nice cinnamon undertone. Perfect balance. Beautiful malt and spice balance. Just a hint of nutmeg. There a beautiful complexity to Dogfish's offering.

Amalak, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of capra12
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed a while back at The Gingerman NYC from notes taken that day.

Appearance: Orange and light brown with little head.

Smell: Subtle pumpkin

Taste: Opens withe fresh caramelized pumpkin as malts become more prominent and spices come into the flavor profile as this finishes with the fresh pumpkin leaving a slightly malty and pumpkin aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid pumpkin ale which has a well balance of malts and pumpkin profiles.

capra12, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of vdoz3
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my DFH pint glass (http://www.sudsgear.com/ProductImages/dogfish/DOGPT_dogfish-l.jpg).

Appearance - Pours a brown/amber with no head and minimal lacing that dies about halfway down.

Smell - Honestly, not the beer's best point, but nice smooth, minimal pumpkin, roasted malts come through. No hops noticeable.

Taste - Smooth, rich maltiness with a solid pumpkin afterglow. Again, no hops noticeable.

Mouthfeel - Honestly, the beer's best point (IMO), smooth and creamy with a coating that doesn't doesn't cloy, and doesn't dominate the palate.

Drinkability - Could easily down one or two, but it's a rich beer and after that I might want something a little more spicy/hoppy.

vdoz3, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of mralphabet
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Golden orange to reddish in color... about 1/2 a fingers worth of head that settles to a nice ring throughout the session.

S: Sweet brown sugar, Cinnamon spice, a hint of pumpkin and nutmeg in the finish.

T: The sweetness hits you up front... Brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon spice, pumpkin & nutmeg. Finishes with a little tartness and a little alcohol burn.

M: Medium bodied nicely carbonated, the finishes wet.. Little strange. It gets thicker as it warms.

D: Very drinkable in limited numbers... one or two at the most, so this is no session beer. For the style, it is different than other Pumpkin brews I've had. There are two types of Pumpkin brews.... Those that taste like pumpkin pie and that that taste like this.... I think I'm leaning to the Pumpkin pie side but this was a very enjoyable trip to the other side.

mralphabet, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of tuckevalastin
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer on tap, in the bottle, and from a cask and it's a wonderful all around beer. The aroma is similar to "punkin" pie and is quite noticable. The taste closely matches the aroma and the 7% alcohol is hidden beneath the spiced flavor.

An almost perfect example of a fall beer.

tuckevalastin, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of luchris80
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting Notes: Stored in the fridge and served in a pint glass.

Aroma: Pumpkin pie-like spices (definitely nutmeg and some allspice). Full malty sweetness and seems like a real pumpkin aroma is there (in back).

Appearance: Medium brown color with copper tint. Slight cream color head with good retention and no trail. Mostly clear with some haze.

Flavor: Medium maltiness with slight toasted and caramel notes. Very slight hint of pumpkin spice flavors. Extremely low hop flavor and bitterness with a hint of dryness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fairly high carbonation (has slight bite). Smooth with a very slight warmth.

Overall Impressions: Good beer for those who don't like pumpkin beers (or think that they don't). Great balance of pumpkin aroma and maltiness in flavor. Nice beer for the season . . . at the top of pumpkin beers for me (pending further research). Maybe slightly high alcohol for style (4.3-6.2% for Brown Ale).

luchris80, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear auburn / mahogany on the pour yielded a distinct orange sheen once it settled. A tan head sizzled to start out fed by a spritzy array of bubbles but soon settled to a loonie-sized centre film that looked just a bit scuzzy. Carbonation continued smooth and even until about half glass.

The smell reminded me of boiled and mashed pumpkin destined to become pie filling, much like my mother made back in the day, with light hints of spice. Taste was full with good body and spice predominant including nutmeg, cinammon, all spice and a bit on the sweet side as well. A nice smooth texture, a bit gassy. There is a light bitterness at mid-mouth with a finish that started out full and rich but got sharper with warming and a bit earthier. An interesting beer that, in my view, got less attractive as it warmed - it could have been the higher ABV that kicked in - but well worth a try.

ThatWineGuy, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Urbancaver
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Very little head with a nice orange tint.

Aroma- Almost floral smell with a bit of brown sugary smell. Can barely smell the pumpkin. Nothing very distinct on this one

Taste- An odd assortment of flavours that don't really mesh well... A bit of brown sugar, definitely pumpkin taste underlying the spices. The initial spices hit too hard in my opinion

Mouthfeel- Smooth, almost creamy feel but with an initial sharpness that takes away from the overall taste

Drinkability- Only 7% alcohol but it feels like a higher proof beer... Overall it makes this beer harder to drink then it should be

EDIT: After letting this warm up a bit (served at ~50 degrees) the sharpness dissipated improving its taste and drinkability a bit :)

Urbancaver, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of haddon
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark golden orange, almost copper in color. nice off-white head that doesn't hang around too long

S- no overpowering smells here but do pick up notes of cinnamon, brown sugar & pumpkin

T- tastes like it smells... brown sugar, spices & pumpkin, malty backbone that is creamy

M- light to medium body, very creamy with little carbonation

D- This is very smooth for 7% ABV. don't usually enjoy pumpkin ale but this is a very nice seasonal. every time I pop one open and usually go for a second one. very nice.

haddon, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If orange is the appropriate colour for a pumpkin ale then consider this one exemplary. Its icy, unvaried orange suit is not only a winsome colour but it is furthermore coated in a glitzy luster that shoots out straight arrow beams of pumpkiny radiance. Its head, too, is praiseworthy. A thick, soapy white collar never relents and in many places has left behind little, glinty, snowflake-like specs of lacing.

It isn't hard to figure out what spices were used - Dogfish Head lists them right on the label. Brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were all thrown in, alongside actual pumpkin, too. Traces of all those ingredients can be found in the aroma as well as a sizable share of sweet, honeyed malt (which is good because although I like my pumpkin ales spicy, I like them to be able to have enough of a base to support all that spice as well).

The spices are appreciated in the flavour too - appreciated mostly because they aren't too overwhelming. An overly savory or excessively balmy beer can become overbearing, especially when it contains more than 5% alcohol. Dogfish Head seems to have done well integrating the spices (and the alcohol for that matter). As result, the beer is quenching and quaffable, much in the same mold as an IPA.

Curiously, I taste more of the pumpkin than I do the pumpkin-pie and spices. The flavour is discernibly squash-like, perhaps more so yam-like. In other words, this doesn't point to dessert with ice cream, more like main course with a side of vegetables. It isn't without sweetness, mind you. The brown sugar may be the most noted of all the adjuncts, despite the fact that the taste of allspice seems to be ever lingering.

It's tough for me to say where Punkin' Ale places on my list of favourite pumpkin ales. I'm noticing it's a fine line between those that are too spice-dependent, too perfumy and those that are too inhibited, too understated. I find Punkin' (this year's vintage anyhow) belongs with the latter, which, although in someways is better than the alternative, still doesn't seem to satisfy my urge for a hearty, savory Thanksgiving-time tipple.

biegaman, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 40 degrees & allowed to warm.

Pours a golden orange in the glass with a creamy white froth and good lacing. Pronounced & perfumed aromas of roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, honey, baking spices, subtle vanilla, & caramel follow through on the palate. There is a little bit of hop bitterness to balance, but the malts, spice, & pumpkin are the real stars of this beer. Great carbonation/mouthfeel, balanced flavors, & a long finish help make this a great beer! Overall, one of the best pumpkin beers on the market! This beer is a perfect Thanksgiving beer!

BevMoAndrew, Nov 25, 2009
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,639 ratings.