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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,930 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,930
Reviews: 2,009
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 314
Gots: 884 | 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
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Ratings: 5,930 | Reviews: 2,009 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel.

A - Pours a deep orange color. Had about 1 inch of head that disappeared quickly. Strong lacing that does not go away.

S - Nice holiday spice smell. Pumpkin galore. I get some nice subtle clove smell as well. Almost smells like pumpkin pie spice right out of the can. Cinnamon hits the nostrils.

T - Surprisingly not near as spicy tasting as the smell. The flavors are there but you get them much more in the nose. The cinnamon shines through in the taste.

M - Has just a bit of alcohol taste on the tongue. Creamy and medium bodied.

D - Surely drinkable. Be a good beverage for Halloween through Christmas to get you in the spirit.

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

A - pours an orangeish brown with a one finger head

S - smells of lot of spices - loads of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some sweet brown sugar. There is also some subtle pumpkin in the nose, but I feel the spices are stronger.

T / M - follows the nose pretty closely. Starts off with a lot of spice, all of which were in the nose. The nutmeg was the strongest and was followed by quite a bit of cinnamon, which gave this medium-bodied ale a dry mouthfeel. Pretty good combination of spices going on here. I got the pumpkin flavor that this beer is named for on the exhale.

D - Pretty solid pumpkin beer here, but for some reason I think it fell a little short of what I was hoping this would be given its popularity. I wish I had another to compare it to. That being said, I would definitely have it in my fridge in the fall if this was available in Missouri. Props to BogleHill for the trade and giving me a chance to try this...I have been trying to get my hands on this for a couple of years now.

Photo of kbanks13
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber color, which is not as dark as I expected since the bottle describes this one as a brown ale. Still, it had a cream colored head that had a nice size and decent retention. Overall it looked about what I would expect a pumpkin beer to look like had it not said brown ale on the bottle. Smells of buttery pumpkins and squash with graham crackers, pie spices and molasses present, but not overpowering. The taste is clearly of pumpkin, with a proper dose of spice as a little bonus rather than the main taste. Sweet and biscuity malt centered beer with just enough hops to make the beer balanced. Feels nice and rich and appropriately carbonated. Tasty and reminds me of a good home-made pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie, not the overly sweet or spiced stuff found most places. This was a great beer, especially for a style that people can be so finicky about, I will seek this one out again.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped 1/2 keg at a local watering hole served in a tulip glass.

L - hazy orange/amber color with an off-white head that thinned to a layer leaving streaks of lacing.
S - Pumpkin and spices, nice!
T - I Love this Beer. Nicely balanced blend of pumpkin, spices and a touch of hops make this brew my favorite Pumpkin Ale.
M - medium bodied with good carbonation make for an overall smooth feel.
D - I could drink this beer all fall long and probably will.

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on draft the beginning of September. This is the 'keep the glass' draft special at Winking Lizard this month.

Pours a slightly cloudy, apple cider color. A tan head sticks to the glass, but is not that impressive. Smell is sweet, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and another potpourri scent. I get brown sugar at first taste, of course with gobs of pumpkin, which fades into a bitter and quite spicy finish. I'd like a more rounded pumpkin flavor. Feel is oddly sharp. Just a little too quick in its complexity, but it paired very well with a mushroom burger and pizza. I've had it on its own in the bottle too, and it makes a decent dessert beer. Overall, just not my sort of brew, but it's a good representative of the style.

Photo of claminat420
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a transparent amber maybe slight copper color with a frothy off white/ slight tannish colored head. medium lacing.

S- just a slight cinnamon and nutmeg smell. not to much else.

T- has the same features as the smell. the alcohol and the pumpkin tend to wrestle a bit. i got a slight bubble gum taste maybe kicking off the yeast but seems strange to me.

M- medium/ heavy bodied. good carbonation.

D- i would like to see this brew in a six pack instead of four.

Overall- in the pumpkin ale category this is up there. i noticed on the first and second brew i could pick up the alcohol bigtime. once you get to the 3rd and 4th one more starts coming out but then you're left empty handed.

Photo of foogerd
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear copper decent white head
S- tons of spice malty pumpkin sweetness beautiful aroma
T- this is one of the most balanced pumpkin brew ive had , the pumpkin taste is done great here totally not overdone the spice notes add complexity, extremely tasty
M- thick enough n perfect carbonation
D- very drinkable u could even session this and not get sick of the spice
I'd make this my go to pumpkin ale so much better from whats churned out for the obligatory fall brew

Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one into a DFH pint glass. It poured a light and watery auburn in color with a quickly dissipating cream colored head and had a lot of carbonation. The smell is heavier on the pumpkin than the spices, which is appreciated. It has slight candied sweetness to it. The flavor is stronger than the aromas and has a good, bold pumpkin flavor to it with spices trailing, maybe cinnamon and a slight amount of nutmeg. The mouthfeel is interesting. It poured so light and watery but it drinks a little thicker than you'd expect. It's very drinkable. I really appreciate that the flavor is pumpkin heavy as opposed to all spices. It really gives it a nice balance. The alcohol content is also better than most pumpkin ales. This one is definitely worth trying.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010. Pours a clear golden copper color with medium white head. Scent is nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon...as I'm typing this, I'm realizing it's exactly like it explains on the label. I hope the taste is just like this...And the verdict is.... Interesting. Very interesting. The taste is delicious! I get all the flavors mentioned in the scent, but with more spiciness and hop profile. I'm surprised by how hoppy it is. It's not very hoppy, but more than expected. The cinnamon, brown sugar, and spice just leave a great aftertaste on your tongue. Probably the best pumpkin beer ever made. The mouthfeel is almost perfect and the drinkability is very high. Great beer for the upcoming holiday season.

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

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "BOTTLED IN: 2010 7A" stamped on neck of bottle.

A- Amber/orange appearance. Pours with ~2 fingers of off white/light tan head, which fades gradually into a thin cap.

S- Quite spicy. Nutmeg and allspice, sweet malts and the feint notes of pumpkin (subliminal?).

T- Sweet / slightly bready malts and a finish full of spices. Bitterness moderately low.

M- Moderate carbonation, and surprisingly fairly full feel. Creamy. Quite good.

D- Good. Pleasant to superior in all areas....easy drinker. I could kick a few back.

Future outlook: I've typically more or less ignored pumpkin beers, but decided to give this one a shot. Very pleased and will be happy to have again.

Photo of wvsabbath
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tanish golden, With some yellow, 1/2 creamy head.

Smell - Pumkin, nutmeg, malts, hops, sugar and a very bitter, almost pickle aroma also

Taste - Hmm, this is different. Defintley taste the pumkin, hops are present, as usual the alcohol also. Many spices also i taste. Basically its a jacked up brown ale with pumkin spices and added sugar.

Mouthfeel - I enjoyed the first taste, was simular to pumkin pie but after i swallowed, the aftertaste is nutmeg and all spice. Ekk, not liking that at all.

Drinkabilty - Well, im glad this bottle was given to me, so i didnt get stuck buying a 4 or 6 pack. One is fine for me, maybe two if i was eating pumkin pie. I wish the beer had more malts and pumkin and less spices. Ill stick with great lakes or smutteynose octoberfest.

Photo of Star80
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich reddish copper color, appears filtered, but knowing all the additives this is not one you'd not want to filter. Has a nice thick tan head. Smells mildy soapy, but yet spicey, and a lot like pumpkin pie. Not detecting much alcohol in the nose for such a strong ale, can detect some maltiness in here as well, as a brown ale should. Now the taste of this beer is where it blows all the other pumpkin ales away, it is like an amped up pumpkin ale and everything else seems like a watery compromise, like a lager with spices and stale pumpkin powder. THIS beer however, is extraordinarily complex. I can taste the cinnamon spice on the tip of my tongue, and at times the spicyness almost feels kinda prickly on the tonque, in a good way, like it is fresh ground. The pumpkin melds together with the malts to give it breadyness that is comforting like, well, a warm slice of pumpkin pie. The malts do have a solid toffy flavor of a brown ale. Not much presence from the hops aside from a backend bitterness and slight whiffs in the cornucupia of aromas in my glass. . Mouthfeel is rich and full. I've been on the lookout for one of these for years, finally tried one (thanks to DiCarlo's Liquors of Mundelein, IL). This is the new standard for a pumpkin ale, everything else is wayy behind. Drinkability is my only concern, wish it was a bit less strong, but then again why mess with perfection?

Photo of HotHands
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice cleer amber with a one-finger white head. Left a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Smells like fall.

T - I can taste a bit of pumpkin here, but I have to look for it. I want more. The aformentioned spices are quite prominent and well-balanced by the slightly sweet malt. Brown sugar is subtle but present. The hops are there too of course, and provide a bitter, dry finish. I can detect a bit of booziness though. I was on the fence about whether to give this a 3.5 or a 4.

M - good carbonation and body, and the dry finish balances the sweetness nicely.

D - Not sure if I'd want to drink more than one, but that kind of goes for all pumpkin beers. They're a great way to spice things up once in a while.

Photo of nukem5
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great pour crystal clear, orange copper color, rich with nice tan cap on the topper.

S: Like fall in a large punkin patch, while carving out you fresh picked punkin.

T: Like a large slice of Granny's punmkin pie staight to the table.Lots of spices, the cinnamon sticks out most with some nutmeg.

M: Warming and full some lacing around glass.

D: Very drinkable although probably could not drink more than two in a row would be great as an after dinner drink.

Bless you Sam for another great year with great beers!

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A nice amber orange look very clean.

S- Smell of pumpkin and spices.

T- I can taste pumpkin brown sugar and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

M- Pretty dry taste of pumpkin and spices through out the sip.

D- Very good beer need some pumpkin pie to really enjoy it.


Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Clear than I was expecting and lighter too. A bright and clear copper and topped with a rather quickly disappearing bone white head.

S: Not overpowering pumpkin pie aroma which is nice. Nutmeg light cinnamon, star anise, pumpkin of course. But these are only hints of what is to come.

T/MF: Tastes remarkably like pumpkin pie but not overpoweringly so, not as thick a mouthfeel as pumpkin pie, I suppose that is because this is beer and not food, but I guess what I am trying to say is that this beer conveys the idea of pumpkin pie, minus perhaps the almost overpowering aroma of the pie, into a beer. The pumpkin, the sweetness, the spiciness is all there and melds perfectly together. It's really hard to imagine another beer being able to do the same thing to such a perfect degree. In terms of style the taste cannot be beat, at least as far as I can tell. Feel is not nearly as thick as I was expecting from a pumpkin beer that tastes and smells like pumpkin pie, but such a realization really does not detract all that much from the overall enjoyableness of this beer.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter

A: Poured dark copper with a one finger head. Pretty good lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Get a nice aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Also get some biscuity malt on the back end.

T: Again, the cinnamon and nutmeg are present, but the pumpkin is not as central as expected. It is subtle, and well done at that. Also get a heavy dose of doughy malt on the back end.

D/M: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very easy to drink, and the 7% is hidden very well. A really nice pumpkin beer that isn't over the top like some others. It is more "beer-like" than some others I have had in this style.

Photo of wikk3d
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a golden amber color with a thick foam head that settles to about half a finger. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Aroma - Sweet smell, pumpkin spice, citrus, hints of cinnamon. You can tell it's going to be a very sweet beer. Has a linger of a malt scent.

Taste - It's a very sweet ale right off the bat. Cinnamon lingers as it goes down. The pumpkin is very prevalent in this beer. Extremely smooth. It's not like many other pumpkin ales where there's only a hint of spice, it's very powerful. The sweetness adds to it. Not bitter at all.

Mouth - My only complaint is that it can be a little dry as you get into a full glass. Although the aftertaste it leaves makes up for it. Very sweet, similar to that of a pumpkin pie.

Drinkability - I was very impressed by Dogfishhead's attempt at a pumpkin ale. I may sound repetitive but it's very very smooth. It's a lot sweeter than others that I have tried, they really aren't afraid to use their spices. Definitely a must.

Photo of NODAK
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like allspice (pumpkin), some cinnamon, and a little sugar. It's not overally pungeant, but it does smell like a pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick. Initial taste is mostly of pumpkin, which is later joined by some nutmeg and cinnamon through the finish. Taste is fairly sweet the entire time, although it's not as sweet as other pumpkin beers I've tasted so it keeps from being cloying. Hops are pretty much completely absent. I can tell just a bit of the booziness on the backend too...for style, the ABV is a tad high. Not much of the sweetness hangs around after the swallow.

I think the beer is certainly pretty good in replicating the taste of pumpkin pie. The lack of overpowering sweetness is a good thing and keeps it from being artificial tasting. The ABV is a tad high here, and it harms drinkability.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Poured a dark amber with an off white head.

Smelled of cinnamon and spice and pumpkin. Very much like a pumpkin pie.

The cinnamon and sweetness of the brown sugar great you up front at the taste. The pumpkin and spices great the sweetness mid taste and it finishes off as the full melded flavor. As the beer warms up as you drink it, the cinnamon and allspice bring a little more heat to the table.

Nothing is overbearing and its easy on the mouth to drink.

Very flavorful and a great fall brew.

Photo of Metuo
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with an orange tint with a one inch creamy head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing present.

S: Pumpkin obviously with nutmeg, all-spice, and hints of cinnamon. Very pleasant without being overly sweet.

T: Pumpkin and all-spice overpower all other flavors. Some biscuity malt present, with a slight taste of nutmeg and alcohol. Pleasant without being overstated.

M: Nicely carbonated, yet slightly thin. Still nice though.

D: Half of the beer was gone before I even noticed. Extremely easy to drink, and the ABV is hidden amazingly.

Overall a quality pumpkin ale. I am not particularly fond of this style, but this one impressed me and I would definitely drink this beer again.

Photo of cooch69
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Punkin is a vibrant copper orange. When held to the light it is slightly cloudy , and it bears a decent head that lasts as film.
This beer smells of really clean Fall spices(nutmeg, cloves, all spice, cinnamon) and they shine through in the taste.
The taste brings forth all of the fall spices you can think of with the addition of caramelly malts and a slight mettalic presence. This is really the only flaw in the flavor that I could point out.
The mouthfeel for this beer is surprisingly thin for how strong it is but it is still a medium bodied ale. It is pretty drinkable and provides a nice beverage for the oncoming cold.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber with a decent haze yet hardly any head to speak of. Mild lacing still proves it's a craft brew.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, and pumpkin all spice. Pretty solid.

T - I remember this ale last year being an ale of amber with spice but now I see it's still pretty true. Slightly bitter almost too much English amber malt that leads to a slight sweetness of cinnamon and pumpkin all-spice but leads more bitter malt. Ehh it's ok for a pumpkin ale but I was told this years version was the best...

M - Overall medium to light bodied with full flavor.

D - Well I still don't like it. I wanted too but it still uses too much bitter English malt that makes it too overbearing to produce the spice I need to really enjoy a pumpkin beer. Still very solid but I will look elsewhere for a good pumpkin beer,

Photo of silentjay
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

though the bottle says its a pumpkin brown ale, it pours a pretty light and lackluster copper with an impressive head that doesnt grow too high, but sticks around forever and laces well.

cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pumpkin in that order make up the aroma.

cinnamon and nutmeg stand out in the flavor profile as well, with all spice, pumpkin pie spice, and some pumpkin as well. not much of a brown beer quality as the base malts get overpowered by the flavoring. its not overly overly spicy, but it is the dominate quality.

light to medium bodied with just enough carbonation and a clean finish with just a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon left to linger.

drinks well. its not a style i overly enjoy, but this one is drinkable and i tend to pick one or two up at the beginning of each autumn.

Photo of cbutova
2.84/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Murky orange-brown with a large off-white, frothy head. Good retention and a ton of fine lace.

S- Smells like typical pumpkin ale spice and a bit sour actually, lacto-esque for sure. "Bottled in 2010 5E" Mostly nutmeg with a little bit of pumpkin behind it.

T- One thing that jumps out at me right away is the alcohol, not hidden at all for 7%. The nutmeg stacks with the alcohol to make a slightly offensive flavor. The cinnamon is also highly present, too spicy. I get some nice pumpkin notes but they seem random, having to get past the spiceahol. The more I drink, the more I get that "wet dog" vibe.

MF- Light creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty warm from alcohol. Huge coat of spice coats the palate.

DB- Between the alcohol and the spices, I would prefer to split even the 12oz. A good pumpkin flavor masked by way too much spice flavor and alcohol. I probably should have been ready for this. I guess unbalanced is most appropriate here.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,930 ratings.