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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,193 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,193
Reviews: 1,952
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 279
Gots: 577 | 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: 5,193 | Reviews: 1,952 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at 50 degrees; part of my Halloween Pumpkin Night.

A - Clear, orange color with little head; decent lacing that lasted half-way through my sampling.

S - Combination of sweet & spice...and of course, pumpkin. I think I enjoy this smell more than other pumpkin ales in that the spice dominates the aroma more than that of pumpkin. Brown sugar is another noticable part of the aroma.

T - Spices galore. Cloves, nutmeg, and some cinnamon flavors compliment the pumpkin, but the biggest surprise is that of gingerbread...definitely didn't expect that. Finishes with the same brown sugar flavor as noticed in the smell. The flavors work very well together as the spices blend very well with the pumpkin.

M - Medium-to-full body with little carbonation. The slightly-higher ABV is only slightly detectable (as hidden by the spices) and it finishes very smooth.

D - I have this in my top pumpkin selections. I'm currently aging one - just to see how it changes over time - but I plan on making a Halloween tradition out of this beer. To be honest, I expect no less from DFH...

JohnnyM2002, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of Jettanbass9
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I searched everywhere for this damn beer! I finally found the last case at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ while i was there for work. This beer is seriously fall in a bottle. When i first had it and read the label, it claims to be a brown ale, it tasted more like a vienna lager/oktoberfest styled beer. However it was not disappointing at all... just caught me off guard a little. The spices and pumpkin are not overbearing at all... the perfect amount. This beer actually inspired me to brew my own pumpkin ale! Cheers to all who can find it/drink it!!!!

Jettanbass9, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of Beerstein
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Apperance is good with a half inch head.
S - Smell is great for a pumpkin ale. I found it very spicy yet subtle at the same time
T - Taste is great. If yo uever wanted to drink a pumpkin pie then this is your ale. I would not reccomend this ale from the bottle if you can get it on draught.
M - Very smooth, refreshing, and drinkable. This is one that I could have all night

Beerstein, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of bfr1992t
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle served in a standard 16oz glass.
A - average, amber, light head.
S - earthy malt, almost sour.
T - strong brown ale at first, weak hints of pumpkin. First taste finished with pumpkin pie. Subsequent tastings were more of strong brown ale, somewhat sour/bitter and less, almost non-existant pumpkin. I really had to hunt for the pumpkin flavor at times but when it did appear it was like a bite of pumpkin pie.
M - Harsh from carbonation. Otherwise average.
D - Most likely pass on this brew due to the bitter finish. I'm not a fan of brown ales. I would not consider it a disappointment and would recommend to any brown ale drinking.

bfr1992t, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back to back tasting of the 05 and 06

A- Thin white tan head that fades fast. Bit cloudy orange body. No real lacing.
S- Strong spices. I think the nutmeg is coming out the most accompanied by the cinnamon. Maybe a bit grass hop smell also. The pumpkin smell also comes through but more with a spice.
T-There is a big spice taste mixed with pumpkin right off the bat. This lingers in the mouth for the aftertaste too. Almost a spicey after taste. The brown sugar comes through too. Pretty sweet. Flavors better blended together. Makes for a more complex brew.
M-Medium body and low to medium carbonation.
D- I prefer the 05. It drinks nicely and easy to drink. I don't think I would crave for one of these but if I saw one I would pick it up.

A- Thin white tan head that stays a bit longer than the 05. Clear orange body. Not cloudy at all. Little lacing around the edge of the glass.
S- More of a malt smell right off the bat. A certain spice is coming through A LOT more!I think it is some kind of malt. The pumpkin is better hidden in this as well. The hops show them self a bit more too.
T-The hops are more present. The one in particular spice comes out a lot more too. I'm thinking it may be the brown sugar or the cinnamon. Bit of grassy notes also. Bigger bitterness left in the aftertaste (nothing big but bigger than the 05)
M- Bit thinner body but still had a medium body with medium carbonation.
D- More crisp than the 05 but stronger individual flavors. Need probably about 6 months to just blend perfectly. I need one in between.

BlindPig, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of kernalklink
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered this one to start up the evening and was pleasantly surprised. Poured a light, glowing orange-yellow with generous carbonation. Was very surprised at the hop chracteristic and very subtle use of what seemed like cloves and allspice- much less pronounced than other pumpkin ales I've had. Finished dry and very mildly malty-sweet. Very refreshing, very seasonal, drinkable beer- just not so sure the novelty would last year round.

kernalklink, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of veech
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with thick creamy froth and excellent retention. S: Earthy pumpkin with hints of spicy sweetness T: Excellent smooth and mild pumpkin flavor with interesting notes of raisins and pumpkin pie spices. M: Medium body with long lasting taste retention and a clean finish on the palate D: This is a very tasty seasonal with excellent and unusual flavors that is very drinkable and easily sessioned.

veech, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of ArtD
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very clear, an amber almost orange color. Off-white head with great head retention.

S - Funky pumpkiny aroma.

F - Brown sugar flavor is prominent. Sweet flavor from the start lingers long, followed by mild hoppy bitterness. Spicing is nice and modest, not "in your face."

M - Well carbonated with strong bubbles. Full body.

D - Overall a great beer, clearer than most in this style. I like the low-key spicing that doesn't drown out the beer flavor (great balance). The hopping was low key for this brewery's norm, which is welcome for this style. Hop bitterness, but not much hop flavor was apparent.

Notes from bottle: Bottled 9/28/06. "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg."

ArtD, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A clear orangish copper with a small head and no lacing.

S - Strong pumpkin, high vegetable notes, a bit of a pungent rice like aroma.

T - Vegetable pumpkin flavor is very strong and a bit of cloves.

M - Very thick, smooth, slightly refreshing.

D - Not too awful. After one, I don't exactly look forward to a second, but the beer itself was not a struggle to drink. This is one of the most pumpkin flavored pumpkin ales around, but it is lacking in the pumpkin pie spices. If that is how you like you pumpkin ales, then go for it, but I'll sooner take Weyerbacher's Pumpkin.

mrasskicktastic, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Somewhat soapy but creamy on top eggshell head. Leaves little lacing as you drink and the head eventually settles at a thin layer of patchy lace with a ring of creamy head around the edge of the glass. The color is honey/orange with a hint of amber. It is very clear with moderate carbonation visible within.

Smell - Crisp citrusy/bitter hops of usual pale ale strength and character. Lots of faint spice behind this: cinnamon, nutmeg, and some molasses/brown sugar aromas in the middle. A background scent of fresh pumpkin innards with little alcohol detectable.

Taste - Tangy/bitter (and somewhat oily) hops right away with a barrage of the spices mentioned above. The nutmeg really picks up here. Pumpkin flavor throughout, again. Finishes with some spicy, sweet, and slightly roasted/smoked malt character. The aftertaste has strong caramel/brown sugar sweetness and lingering spicy malts. Mild earthiness is also present in the finish and aftertaste. Little alcohol throughout.

Mouthfeel - Pretty close, if not all the way, to full-bodied. It has some excited/biting carbonation up front, but only for a moment. The edge of this quickly dies down and it takes on a suble, massaging structure.

Drinkability - The flavors aren't terribly strong, but the overall complexity of the beer from the spices, etc. to take their toll on your buds. Still, this stuff is pretty easy to drink...I could make four or so of these dissappear without too much effort (and I'm not talking about pouring them down the drain!)

This is a good pumpkin ale, though it is my first one. I was expecting the spices to be somewhat "too much" but they were right on. They were sublte and balanced yet easily detectable and pleasant. A very fun ale overall. Recommended.

dblinkhorn, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of Bones54
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one went quick here in the Cleveland area. Thanks to fellow BA kolch for snagging some up for me when he visited the brewery a few weeks back!!

Now this is what I'm looking for in a pumpkin brew. Strong nutmeg and spice smell, a "gentle" thickness, and a unique pumpkin spice flavor. To many brews in this difficult to make style are either to watered down or have too much going on- DFH finds a nice balance. I wouldn't exaclty call it a session beer because of the strong spices and pumpkin, but it's easy enough to enjoy a few of these in one sitting. Perfect for an afternoon of football watching.

Cheers to you DFH!

Bones54, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of GregBrewski
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don’t have much experience with pumpkin ale's. I figured if there is a good pumpkin ale out there, DFH would be responsible for crafting one.

The brew presented it self well, with a golden/copper color, but with little head that diminished quickly in my glass. It smelled mostly of malt with some hints of spice and hops. Once enters the mouth a spicy overtone is present with a light presence of the alcohol. The sweetness is noteworthy and the proper balance of carbonation to mouthfeel. One thing I have not mentioned yet is the pumpkin taste...I find it hard to distinguish pumpkin amongst all the other tastes.

Don’t get me wrong, this brew is well balanced and highly drinkable on a cool autumn day!

GregBrewski, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden orange with a nice bit of lacing that coats the rim the entire length of the drink.
Aromas are amber malt and pumpkin pie spices.
Taste is sweet amber malt that has a hint of hops then a nice cinammon-pumpkin pie filling kind of taste on the end...the kind you get from the pie filling after its prepared but before it goes into the oven.
Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and thick but with a nice tingly carbination and slight alcohol warmth as you swallow.
Jason said, "this isn't another pumpkin soda pop beer"...he's right.
This is serious (note the 7%) craft brew for autumn.
Great stuff. I love it.

IntriqKen, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of rabsten
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass, pours an autumnal amber with a fluffy, inch thick head. Good lacing. Handsome beer. Pretty to look at.

Aroma: Very spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.

Strong, sweet, alcohol-y, spiced, "punkin'"...It's all here. Well, everything but malt and hops. If I didn't know this was a beer of some kind, I wouldn't be able to tell by the flavor. Most original of the pumpkins I've sampled in '06. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and pumpkin. Like liquid pie filling.

Thick mouthfeel, lingers all over the palate. Drinkability: "Only" 7% but hits like a 12# pumpkin thrown off the balcony. "One and done" kind of ale.

Bottom line, an original entry into the pumpkin beer category. Not as good as the Post Road, but tasty indeed. DFH rocks.

rabsten, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of GPHarris
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a one finger thick head into a tumbler. head is the color of toffee while the body is a very clear amber color. lacing is decent until the last fifth of the beer.
s - sweet with all of the spices (brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) listed on the bottle. they don't falsely advertise! the spices come through more than the pumpkin but it is there.
t - medium hoppiness. it starts out sweet and spiced but the pumpkin really comes through in the finish.
m - slightly creamy with a nice mouthfeel.
d - medium carbonation. this is a well-balanced beer with a lot of nice flavors throughout. great fall beer and one i enjoy.

GPHarris, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of benito
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

DH's fall seasonal is a wonderfully balanced and full-flavored version of an original American style--a New World beer of the highest order. It is a brownish amber with a fluffy white head. The nose shows a strong pumpkin flavor, but it is offset and balanced by allspice and cinnamon. Despite this brew's obvious pumpkin pie scents, the sweetness is spot on--not cloying or overpowering.

The flavor strikes this same kind of balance with good sweetness across the middle of the palate, and a nice, brown sugar-flavored finish. It has enough of a dry, hoppy (this is DH after all) backbone to give some body to back up the beer's other sweet flavors. A beer that begs to be drunk in the fall months, and possibly the best example of this style in the U.S.

Kudos to the crazy folks at Dogfish Head for putting out a tasty pumpkin ale that's more than just a marketing gimmick.

benito, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of ridedammit
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A and I picked this up at Downtown in Davis Sq. We are trying as many pumpkin ales as we can find, and when we saw a Dogfish Head we knew we had to try. The beer is a light amber tea color with a head that does not last long enough. The smell starts off with a nice bublgum/pumpkin spice/alcohol presence.

The taste has a high maltiness followed quickly by a bit of pumpkin and spice and then hop flavor. The 7% abv gives the mouthfeel a nice sharpness. This is the best bottled pumpkin ale I have tried this season. I would like to taste this in draught form to see how it compares with other pumpkins I have had on tap.

ridedammit, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unlike my other favorite pumpkin ale (Cottonwood's own, NC), DFH's Punk doesn't focus primarily on the pumpkin flavor. Lots of other spices come into it, somewhat clouding the pumpkin flavor but overall coming through as a super-good spicy autumn seasonal.

Pours a glassy burnt orange, an appropriate autumn shade. Small head doesn't remain long after the pour.

All spices/flavorings listed on the label show up in the aroma, each easy to pick out but mingled very well too.

What the aroma gives, the flavor brings out X 10. A well-balanced, complex flavor array. Truth in advertising...just read the label and know the flavor. Nutmeg? Check. Allspice? Check. All others present and accounted for too.

The finish leaves a lingering spiciness on the tongue, while the mothfeel has tingle, heft and smoothness all at once.

Maybe not an everyday beer, as the flavors are on the wild side, but certainly a must at the Thanksgiving table, and an overall excellent seasonal brew. Could probably even appeal to beer drinkers who usually don't go for this sort of thing.

Metalmonk, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber orange color. Dense head of orange hued white foam. Nice lacing.

S: Rich pumpkin aroma, doused with full malts and spices. The essence of burning leaves. Autumn bottled. Nice.

T: Malted pumpkin flavors with a touch of molasses and earthy spices. Some peppery notes. Rich flavor. Very nicely done. It's obvious that this is "brown ale" influenced, and it works exceptionally well.

M: Slightly dense, with some chewy feeling. Still rather sharp, making it go down easily.

D: Rather good. Even though it's a higher ABV pumpkin, i'd have no problem having more than one.

Notes: A solid pumpkin ale. Will be on the look out for it next year.

Frozensoul327, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of zjungleist
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've never had a pumpkin beer before, and I figured if there is one to try it would be DFH. Pours coppery orange with a nice head that faded to nothing is 10 seconds flat. The smell is not spicey and stong the way I expected, though I am getting some nutmeg, but mainly it's just a malty smell. The taste is slightly tart, with a suprising amount of cinnamon, along with nutmeg, and malt. There is a slightly bitter finish, but not hoppy, more a combination of bitter barlery and some kind of tannin from the spcies. This whole time I'm wondering if there are actually hops in this. I can't really taste them, but sometimes I think I can smell them. And this leads me to the question of the hour... which flavor is the pumkin? This certainly does not have the hearty and rich character of a pumpkin pie, and even then, what do you taste more in a pumpkin pie... the pumpkin or the spices? I've got to attribute the sour/tartness to the pumpkin, but having no experience with pumpkin brews, its complete speculation. The mouthfeel is pretty typical for a DFH brew, that being a full medium body with a watery, dry finish. Overall, this beer probalby left me with more questions than answers, and for that reason alone I enjoyed it. On top of that, it's a drinkable beer with unique flavors.

zjungleist, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of Cadyfatcat
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/30/06
Pours deep amber with fine white lacey head. Better head retention and more impressive colour than most pumpkin brews.

I hate to repeat what the label says, but it smells immediately of brown sugar, allspice, and a little sour pumpkin.

More pronounced and richer malt character than most pumpkin beers, sour and rich kilned pumpkin character come through. Doughy and chewy mouthfeel, makes you feel as though you were tasting some nice pumpkin bread. Spices are not overwhelming, they play around in the background unlike a lot of other pumpkin brews. A little bit of a drying barky effect present due to the cinnamon.

Props to the 7% ABV on this one, a very distinct approach at pumpkin beer in my opinion. One of the necessary drinks in the genre.

Cadyfatcat, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of mmcave
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again I'm not a Pumpkin beer guy normally, I've reviewed one and thought a counter point would be a good idea, especially when its a dogfish head. Poured an orangey amber color with golden high lights. The head is a white foam color, leaving some lacing, with decent retention. Smells just like it says subtle, but real pumpkin, brown sugar, spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells more like an ale with pumpkin/spicing added sparingly, not an over powering smack in the face of synthetic pumpkin pie. Honestly the the smell is not terribly enticing, but its equally not dispelling. The flavor is not as sweet as I expected, its got a bit more tartness and a nice tinge of bitterness. It maintains a nice crisp flavor, some malt complexity and a mellow pumpkin spice finish. For me I'd prefer this type of pumpkin beer to others that use a syrup to flavor and are more forward front with their over sweet pumpkin flavor. Personally this is not as good as some of Dogfish heads other seasonal brews (aprihop) but its definitely not bad. If some one wanted a pumpkin brew, so far I'd say this is the way to go.

mmcave, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
2.35/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

Not a bad looking ale. Medium amber colored. Half-inch thick creamy head and a bit of lacing all the way down. Unfortunately, this was about the only good thing I could say about this beer.

Aromas of spice and alchohol. Not much pumpkin. Most of the other pumpkin ales I've tried have smelled better than this.

Taste was quite disappointing. Very bitter alcohol taste. Some spiciness. Reminds me of cheap malt-liquor. The more I sip this beer the less I like it.

The mouthfeel is simultaneously sticky and dry and watery.

Overall, I really didn't care for this beer. It is one of the worst pumpkin ales I've tried. Quite disappointing. I may pour it down the drain instead of fnishing it. I hope people who try this as their first pumpkin ale will not give up on the style. There are many other ones out there that IMO are much better--Cottonwood, Edenton, and Post Road all come to mind.

doppelmeup, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of normZurawski
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks ok, nothing special, thin amber. Smells like beer I don't really care for. Over-spice is all you get. Tastes like it smells. Light bitter finish, not in a good way. Lacks bite in the mouth. Finish lingers but is hurt by over-spiced imbalnce. So-so drinkability. This is the kind of beer that makes people not like DFH so much.

normZurawski, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of lpayette
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottled on 8/23/06, enjoyed on 9/14/06. Label states: "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg."

Appearance- Pumpkin in color, crystal clear. 1/2" white head. Some lacing.

Smell- Allspice and nutmeg are quite strong. Caramel and a hint of smoke (not sure why, but yeah, I got smoke).

Taste- Pumpkin flavor plays a much bigger role here than in the smell. Lots of spices... too much in my opinion. Roasted malts- very fresh tasting.

Mouthfeel- I'd call this close to full-bodied, good carbonation, and fairly smooth.

Drinkability- More flavorful than most pumpkin ales, but the flavor choices to me were a bit odd. Not sure if I'll seek this out again or not. It's certainly decent, but maybe it needs to grow on me.

lpayette, Oct 17, 2006
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,193 ratings.