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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,347 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,347
Reviews: 1,959
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 283
Gots: 629 | 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: 5,347 | Reviews: 1,959 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drperm
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my perennial favorite pumpkin ales, although it might be too spicy for some. I find this recipe sublime, beginning with the smoky and woody nose. The taste of pumpkin is subtle, not too sweet, before handing it over to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Conjures up images of autumn leaves, a roaring fire, and hot homemade pie.

drperm, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish brown with nice off white head, some good lacing, pretty nice look to it. The aroma is kind of shy, but some very nice spices pop out, pumpkin obviously in there too. The taste is much better, the spices even more tasty, the pumpkin more dominant, and the malt base coming out more, maybe just a hint of hops toward the end. The mouth is pretty nicely carbonated, decent body, overall pretty nice. Can't say this is my favorite style, not by a long shot, but this seems to be the most authentic shot at the style I've had in a while, and thus a good beer to try in my book.

objectivemonkey, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of ryantupy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice orange amber hue with a tiny dissapearing head.

S - Naturally pumpkin is most noticable scent. But the malts offer a smooth spicy scent to this beer aswell.

T - Pumpkin flavors backed with spices and malt with a mild hop backbone.

M - Medium bodied beer with a nice carbonation level.

D - A good easy drinkable beer in the fall.

ryantupy, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear amber with a hint of orange and a crème head that falls quickly. Nose is of very muted pumpkins and some very mild spices. Smells more like pumpkin pie, but really subdued to the point that it is almost non-existent. Flavor is smooth with brown ale attributes and a gentle amount of pumpkin and spices mixed in. Smooth, yes. Just not very eventful really. Feel has a mass of big bubbles of carbonation hitting the mouth and the liquid feels good too. Very drinkable overall. As easy drinking a pumpkin ale as you are going to find.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of BeerCheese
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Crystal clear and light brown. Big white head with big pillowy bubbles in it. No head retention to speak of though. Smell of ginger and a bit of pumpkin. Taste of pumpkin pie and beer blended together. No carbonation to speak of, and medium body. Not something I would ever buy again, but worth trying once.

BeerCheese, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of jeffmonarch
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice orange amber color with a little head that disappears quickly.

S - Pumpkin scents with a lot of spices.

T - This is where this beer stands apart from all other pumpkin beers i've tasted. This has some pumpkin flavor but the most powerful flavor is the spices and they do an awesome job with them.

M - Light/medium body. Good carbonation.

D - All day. I love this beer. I wish it was available year round.

jeffmonarch, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of montageman
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Living in Michigan and loving to grill and be outside as much as possible, the fall is the last hurrah to be outside before massive amounts of snow set in. Fall also brings with it a plethora of seasonal beers including pumpkin beers. I've had many pumpkin beers and have been disappointed with each of them, however, this one is a different story. The clear pumpkin color of the ale coupled with the intense pumpkin pie aroma is a world apart from other pumpkin brews. The taste is complex - spicy, sweet, and and roasted like a piece of pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and well suited to this style. Easy drinking as a dessert beer or as a reminder of why fall isn't such a bad thing. Highly recommended.

montageman, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Bassetdawg
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle from Smiley’s

Appearance: rich dark amber color, minimal head, with little retention

Aroma: a very mild smell, though it clearly is pumpkin, vanilla and spice.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A smooth brown ale, with a clear pumpkin and spice flavor.

Drinkability: This is a first rate pumpkin ale. Dogfish Head proves they can make an excellent beer, with out having to go to extremes.

Bassetdawg, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of dauss
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Standard 12oz bottle. Bottled on 8/16/2007. Other than that not much else. Standard DFH labeling format.

Appearance: Light amber color with a light hint of orange. Almost nonexistent head, even with a vigorous pour and served at cellar temperature.

Smell: The smell is quite well balanced. None of the spices are overpowering in the aroma. Nutmeg, caramel, brown sugar, and a light touch of allspice.

Taste: Not much spice flavor in this beer. Just a standard malt body, slight hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, moderate hop bitterness, with pumpkin and alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side with thin mouthfeel.

Notes: Not too bad of a pumpkin beer. I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the spices like a lot of other breweries do. The base of the beer is nice. Would be easier to drink if the alcohol wasn't so high.

dauss, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 12-13-07
Bottled on 8-15-07

Pours a pleasant pumpkin-orange color with a fizzy head that quickly bubbles away.

Smell is lots of spices, I pick out cinnamon, nutmeg, and a good caramel malt backing. There's also a definite minty edge in the the smell. I don't like minty beers.

Taste is surprisingly good. All the flavors are subtle, a work well together. Pumpkin is right at the front, followed by cinnamon and a peppery hop twinge.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy, but at the same time light.

Drinkability is very good, the sweetness is right in the middle and well balanced.

Overall, one of the most well-done pumpkin beers I've had. Nothing is over the top, and it fits the style dead on.

BMoney575, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of bloberglawp
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jasonjlewis for this bomber! Sampled it with my big brother along with New Belgium's Fat Tire and Stone's Arogant Bastard.

Pours quite orange, little head dissipates quickly, light aroma of spices and caramel malts, flavors resemble a pumkin pie without being cloying and sweet, fairly balanced beer for a spiced ale, not overwhelming.

bloberglawp, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of ruckzuck
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found an extra 4 pack at a liquor store I'd never been to and picked it up delighted that I'd found more after assuming it was sold out for the season.

A - dark orange, bit of a head

S - pumpkin! cinnamon, brown sugar, spices

T - see smell; good aftertaste of spices which lingers

M - medium, a bit of carbonation, nice aftertaste

D - this is a bit sweet, but I could totally have 2 of these. When it was on tap at BSP I would order at least one usually. By far the best pumpkin beer I've had (though I haven't had that many). Recommended if you're looking for a pumpkin beer despite the season being nearly over.

ruckzuck, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an off-white head that quickly fades to surface skim, and leaves a small amount of spotty lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - spices fill the nose, and there is a faint hint of toasty malt biscuits.

Taste - a bit more than the nose indicates shows up on the tongue. There are spices over a toasty malt biscuit backbone, with some brown sugar and pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, with a sort of starchy "fluffy" feel.

Drinkability - this is a decent beer, but I'd want something different after two of these in a session, but then maybe this would go better with dessert.

ultralarry2006, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly brilliant golden-orange in color, topped with a one-fingered medium tan head and decent lacing. Nose is spicy, lightly boozy, and lightly tangy-sweet; inclusion of brown sugar is evident. My impressions on the first sip are of a sweet, smooth, and moderately full-bodied brew. Punchy . . . definitely wears its 7% with style. Light notes of cherry and angelfood cake, and even a lightly-spiced 'plain cake donut' - very nice. Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tangy, lightly warming from the higher alcohol, and with remarkably good drinkability. Leans toward a dessert beer but I could easily knock back a few of these. This is the biggest Pumpkin brew (ale or otherwise) I've ever sampled, and yet it has remarkable balance, even to the point of a drier finish than I'd first expected. I'd say that this one might win over a few of the people who haven't yet warmed to the Pumkin-in-a-beer crowd, as it really brings everything together nicely.

Chaz, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of Dalem
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange color. Nice, it reminds me of fall. The smell of nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar reminds me of my grandfolks house on a Sunday afternoon. Off to a good start.
The pumpkin and spice taste is really upfront in this medium body brew when it hits the mouth. The cinnamon lingers a bit when the malt kicks in and everything finishes with a dry & hoppy bitterness. The taste of alcohol is pretty much all over it from start to finish. Not too overbearing but there's no denying that it's there. The better half said she liked it but had her thinking that someone tipped a little bit of a nut brown ale into the pie batter. I can't say that I've ever, that I recall at least, thought about having a doughnut or a bowl of ice cream with a beer before but entertained the idea while drinking this.

Dalem, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear orangish-rust color with a small foamy white head. Very little lacing with this one.

A very nice pumpkin aroma without coming off as over-spiced or artificial tasting. This beer is a high-quality ale first combined with a balance of pumpkin spices and malt.

The taste is like the aroma. Well-balanced and nearly perfect.

Medium mouthfeel and lightly carbonated.

This beer gets better as warms and is my favorite pumpkin ale of the season. Easy to drink and enjoy. Well done, DFH.

Monkeyknife, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of micahgoldfus
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rusty golden orange with a 1/2 finger head. The smell was predictable: spice, especially nutmeg and close, and pumpkin pie (both the pie filling and the bready crust). The taste was delicious and well balanced. Obviously, you have your spice, again with nutmeg and clove, but maybe some cinnamon in there, plenty of sweet caramel malts, but also a tangy, dry finish to provide the slightest bit of bitterness at the end. I'm a big fan of pumpkin ales, I always look forward to the fall, and I think this is one of my favorite examples of the style. It's certainly more complex, and much less over-the-top-sweet, as many of the other pumpkins out there.

micahgoldfus, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of ffejherb
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz. bottle into pint glass.

A - Pours a clear orange with rust tones. Minimal carbonation. Thin white head virtually vanishes shortly after pour with no noticeable lacing.

S - Cinnamon and nutmeg up front, with some clove and allspice... obvious pumpkin pie flavors. Not an overly spicy nose.

T - Pretty much how I imagined it. All of the aromas come out in the flavor. More spicy on the tastebuds than in the nose. Touch of brown sugar sweetness to balance the spicy flavors.

M - The spices tickle the back of the throat. A bit thin and watery on the palate. Nice spicy finish.

D - Nice seasonal for the autumn months. Don't know if I could drink these all night, but I'd definitely pick up a 4-pack of these next fall.

ffejherb, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of younger35
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this brew along with a bevy of others from YonderWonderer. Have had a lot of Pumpkin Ales lately and have been most excited to try this one. Drank from my Laughing Dog pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super clear reddish orange with a bright white head. Very nice cap and collar that leaves very little lacing. Surprisingly light compaired to other brews of this type.
Smell- Lots of pumpkin in this one. More pumpkin in the nose than the other similar brews I’ve had. Very spicy as well with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Pumpkin pie in a bottle.
Taste- This one is a bit different than the other Pumpkin Ales I’ve had. Starts with a bit of pumpkin that quickly leaves. It’s taken over by a sweet toffee/brown sugar that quickly gets cloying. A bit of a lingering cinnamon but the spice is definitely more present in the nose. The alcohol is covered well though.
Mouthfeel- Somewhere between medium and full body with a slick feel and aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- I had big hopes for this one but it’s not the best Pumpkin Ale I’ve had. It’s tasty but a bit cloying and I really wish there was more spice in the taste. The nose was fantastic though and I wish it tasted like it smelled. Thanks again to YonderWonderer!

younger35, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle (bottled on date of 8/10/07) in a Shaker pint

Poured silent, straight, a little syrupy. Sweet, spicy nose, definitely ripe with a "Red Hots"-esque cinnamon, soft clove. Malts are caramelized & have a mild brown sugar quality that grow as it warms and even takes on a mild bread quality. What head there was (a pencil's worth of very loose dull ivory foam) faded almost immediately to a small, transparent floater and broken edge ring, even with a vigorous vertical pour aimed at accentuating this aspect. Barely hazed, its a sharp copper-orange hue that has some nice luster.

Nice balance between sharp pie spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and sweet caramelized malts that do (like the label says) have a brown sugar aspect to them. The spices have a subtle heat that warms the mouth & awakens the tongue and taste receptors, much like zesty but not spicy food does. Its actually quite sharp with an underlying, background roundness & fullness. The spices are a searing lead guitar, the malts a steady bass that, when combined, have a nice, upward crescendo to the palate. This would definitely be nice on a brisk autumn day.

A semi-dry aspect on the palate picks up on the palate and continues to build that light heat and even more angular quality overtop those sweet, rich, soft malts. The alcohol barely kicks in as well, and the overall effect is mouth being scrubbed dryly warm, again all over top that steady & round sweet malt back beat. It finishes a little softer & duller, coming downhill from that peak on the palate, but still spiced. The aftertaste is very pleasing - subtly burnt caramel, mild pie spices, a little chewy, mouth alive & softly aglow.

A very nice Pumpkin Ale. Not the prettiest or best I've had, but a very nice one. This would be a great sipper during the chill of Autumn as well as would be nice with some cheddar or some lively Mediterranean rim fare. I'd definitely make this a part of my Autumnal beer enjoyment. Definitely recommended if you like a nice spiced ale.

BuckSpin, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a light, reddish-orange color with thin white head that longers awhile and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is fairly mild, but a pleasant mixture of spices and sweet fruit. Mouthfeel is somewhat tingly and full, and the flavor is a nice blend of holdiay tastes....nutmeg, pumpkin and cinnamon to name a few.

I would have rated even higher, but the finish seemed short and a little stale. Overall, though, a nice twist, and even though I’m not much of a fan of Herb-Vegetable beers, this was an enjoyable offering from DFH.

kimcgolf, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of GFSchwab
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The apperance was a calm brown with a small level of head, however that small ammount of head carries a great flavor and aroma, and stuck with the beer until I finished it.
The smell was a deep and enveloping experience (as pretentious as a beer review can get) with a heavy aroma of pumpkin pie, and definitley notes of cinamon. Although the spices used to define this ale as pumpkin commanded the aroma, the alcohol content and fleting level of hops could be detected.

The taste follwed the nose of the beer judiciously with carmel malts blending perfectly with the brown sugar and pumkin that was used in this ale. The 7.0% bite of the alcohol came along with the hops as a faint aftertaste bringing the beer all the way home.
The pumkin taste resided on my pallette long after the beer was done, and alothough it was quite a heavy and layered beer, I would'nt hesitate to have one or two more. It was truly a well done beer in perfect balance and in overall craft.

GFSchwab, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of hwwty4
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a rich orangy amber with a slight head and a continous carbonation.

S. It smells like Thanksgiving. Nutmeg and allspice with a little pumpkin.

T. Sweet almost like black strap mollases with pumpkin and allspice.

M. Smoot, medium bodied.

D. All and all a great beer. Very drinkable, though I dont know if I could drink more then 2 at anygiving setting.

hwwty4, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of splat215
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep orange/brown with little head and little to no carbonation action

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, alcohol - where's the pumpkin?

T - ah, here's the pumpkin! More taste of nutmeg, an unidentified spice (doesnt quite taste like the cinnamon I smelled), the 7% ABV shows through here .

M - Medium bodied, smooth, tangy

D - The 7% ABV comes through a bit too much ere and kills the flavor party. Wouldn't be able to polish off more then one of these.

splat215, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of GRPunk
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A thin off-white head quickly turned to a nice lace atop an amber-copper colored brew with light-medium carbonation. It looked quite clean.

S- Definite pumpkin spice and vegetal tones. I initially picked up nutmeg and allspice and something like ginger too. On further sniffs, there were bready/biscuit malt notes.

T- Not as "in your face" as some from the style. It keeps the traditional beer qualities. It had a bready backbone with spice to enhance flavor, not overwhelm it. The light hop finish leaves a clean taste.

M- Medium feel with light carbonation.

D- Due to subtle characteristics, it's an easier drinker than many other pumpkin brews.

Overall- Though I like some overly-spiced versions of the style, this one was a pleasant surprise. It kept the integrity of the base beer while the pumpkin and spice made for additional flavor.

GRPunk, Nov 01, 2007
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,347 ratings.