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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

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

5,799 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,799
Reviews: 1,987
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 300
Gots: 800 | 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: 5,799 | Reviews: 1,987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wampahoofus
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first Pumpkin Ale. I had expected something thicker and darker. Instead, the beer poured a clear-crisp amber with a moderate amount of head.

The smell was closer to a typical brown ale with lots of malt. As the beer warmed, the spices began to come out in the aroma.

Ice cold, this beer tasted like a fairly malty brown to amber ale. The spice was far in the background. As the beer warmed, the spices came more to the front. However, it was a very nice balance.

I have gone on to try two more pumpkin ales (and plan to sample several more) and so far this is my favorite. I will buy this again which I can't say for the others I have tried.

This is a very pleasant seasonal ale.

wampahoofus, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of MrDanno96
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light amber color with about one finger of head that dissipates to a small ring. Just a little lacing. Looks nice in the glass.

S: Hops, malt, and spices: pepper and cinnamon.

T: Bitter hops on the sides of the tongue give way to cinnamon and other spices. I'm not having the "pie" experience some others had with this, but there is definitely a hint of sweet pumpkin flavor. Refreshing!

M: Just a little watery on at the start, but it's really a nice light body that goes down pretty smooth.

D: Great tasting pumpkin ale. Considering its light body, there are lots of amazing flavors happening in this beer. It's very refreshing and is a nice choice for a fall evening. A sweeter alternative to the many Oktoherfest style lagers out their during this season.

MrDanno96, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Briarscratch
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours liquid pumpkin. Its a unique amber color. It smells like cookies and beer mixed together in a glass. Ok now I'm eating a piece of pumpkinpie courtesy of my roommate...words cannot explain. Drink Punkin with pumpkin pie! Its like dessert, perfect for a cool fall night. Very drinkable IMO.

Briarscratch, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of taxguyjase
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At first glance, this beer has a nice rich amber/pumpkin color, with a little bit of heat doesn't stick around all that long. Lots of "fall" smells too - nutmeg, cinnamon, a little sweetness and, obviously, pumpkin. The Punkin Ale is definitely a pumpkin beer, but it's not so pumpkin that you feel like someone shoved a pumpkin pie in your face or crushed a jack o' lantern over your head. The brew tastes flavorful and spicy, but not over the top where it could offend. It goes down really smooth and you get a moderate malt and spice aftertaste to finish off the beer. The biggest downfall of this beer is the price - $10.00 for a 4 pack...of course, that's the way Dogfish Head rolls.

Appearance - 3.5/5.0 - amber pumpkin color, some head but dissipated quickly
Smell -4.5/5.0 - great smell - pumpkin , nutmeg, cinnamon, little sweetness
Taste - 4.5/5.0 - delicious, not overly pumpkiny, but has the spice and malt with that autumn flavor profile
Feel - 4.5/5.0 - smooth, with a solid malt and spicy aftertaste
Drinkability - 4.0/5.0 - definitely would have again! Really great beer, price is higher than I'd like, but a small complaint.

taxguyjase, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of droomyster
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm rarely outright enthusiastic about a pumpkin - or any other flavored - beer, but this one is exciting. Pours a hazy amber with fine carbonation; not much of a head. Smells of all the pumpkin and spice goodness of many pumpkin ales but surpasses its competitors by using a healthy heap of biscuity and toasty malts. Unlike other pumpkin ales I've tried, the cinnamon and vanilla are not overwhelming - the sweetness is actually balanced by hops. A highly enjoyable beer.

droomyster, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of tugdriver7
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Left in the fridge after "Becktoberfest" by my daughter-in-law. (Thanks "E." I Owe you one.) Tried it before, but this was like trying it all over again. Gorgeous deep gold to amber in the glass with subtle carbonation and a nice head that fell rather quickly, but left a ring of foam that laced the glass nicely all the way down. Pumpkin spices--cinnamon, nutmeg (I guess)--immediately evident in the nose, but quickly found them to be very well balanced in the flavor. Rich mouthfeel and recognizably buttery malt balanced with a nice hops bitterness, a subtle fruity spice (the pumpkin spices) all blended nicely on the tongue. Unbelievable balance and complexity. Easily (now) my new favorite pumpkin ale. The 7% ABV was a bit of a put off when I saw it on the label, as I assumed that astringency would be noticed as the beer warmed. That wasn't the case. This was incredibly drinkable from start to finish. Fantastic.

tugdriver7, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of blackearth
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a bright, orange-amber body with an off white head that eventually falls completely. Aroma is sticky sweet sugar, like cinnamon buns. Pumpkin is also detectable in the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with big malt sweetness upfront in the flavor. There's brown sugar and pie spice flavors in there too. There's a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish and a slight alcohol warmth as it goes down. Very good beer for a cool October evening.

blackearth, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

One of the first pumpkin beers ive had years ago when maybe 5-6 made there way to bars...

Haxy orangey copper in color, i like the tea reference made by another reviewer below, so im gonna steal it, minimal head and ok lacing. Smell is of faint pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinamon) with some vanilla and malty biscuit scents. The taste is a rather mild blend of biscuity malts, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla. Slight pumpkin flavor on the tail. Lighter bodied, slightly high in carbonation, still manages to be slightly creamy. Mild flavor, but unique in its combination.

rfgetz, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of stewart124
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tea color with a nice white head.

The smell is of baked pumpkin pie and nutmeg or maybe it is an allspice. Needless to say my mouth is watering.

On the first sip I am almost wondering if I received the correct beer. Very low key pumpkin beer. The spices are subtle but spicy in the finish and almost produce a boldness that I wasn't quite expecting.

There is a nice caramel/toasty note. The spices are great and this makes for a drinkable pumpkin ale. Very tasty indeed.

stewart124, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Matthoc116
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice, clear orange/light amber hue, with low to moderate head. Smells immediately of spice and sweetness, with little hop aroma (as to be expected). Very reminiscent of autumn flavors.

First tasting indicates a very complex brew. Initial reaction is a maltiness, followed by an immediate unexpected (but not unpleasant) tartness. Aftertaste leaves a well-balanced spice flavor, which is then followed by a strong vanilla aftertaste. Would have scored even higher on taste if not for the lingering vanilla extract flavor on the back end.

Overall, one of the better, if not best pumpkin ales I can remember drinking. Often the style gravitates towards one of two extremes: pumpkin-pie beer, or underwhelming squash-ale. DFH manages to find a great balance, and subsequently creates a great beer. Functions well as a dessert beer, or as an autumn warmer. Would and will purchase again.

Matthoc116, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of littlekidlover
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured my Punkin Ale into my beer tasting wine glass. It pours a pumpkin color, it looks like autumn. I expected it to look more like a brown ale referred to on the label. The white head did not stick around too long. The aroma reminded me of an amber with evidence of the pumpkin pie spices. The taste is caramel malts and more pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) The mouthfeel is rather light for a beer of this sweetness. I probably wouldn't want to drink too many of these on account of the sweetness, not really a session beer. I have to admit, I did not dislike this beer, but was a little underwhelmed considering it's price point. I have had better pumpkin beers at the same price for a 6 pack versus this four pack.

littlekidlover, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of tdawgydog
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Punkin ale is probably my favorite pumpkin brew. This time of year I seek out different takes on this fall time brew, but I always come back to this one.

A - Pours a nice golden copper color decent head recedes to leave a good lacing around the top of the glass.
S - Cinnamon, nutmeg and of course pumpkin
T - Tastes like a good fall day captured in a pint glass.
D - Goes well on a nice fall afternoon such as today. Even better if you have a good campfire going.
M - Great body, good mouthfeel. Again this is my goto Pumpkin beer. I haven't had many as good as this one.

tdawgydog, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of spartanfan
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright orange color with little head that quickly dissipates into a thin ring.

Smells of pumpkin with scents of spices

Taste is of pumpkins and toasted malts. There is a slight warming character, tastes of spices are evident in the swallow.

Mouthfeel is medium, I wish it was a bit creamier with this beer.

I'm not a big fan of the pumpkin ale style, and I don't think I'll have another of this one.

spartanfan, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Kromes
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: An orange/gold color with a thick off-white head. Lots of carbonation.

S: Smells like pumpkin with some cinammon and brown sugar mixed in. Not as aromatic as some pumpkin ales, but it also is not over the top. Nice.

T: The initial taste is of allspice and malt with some brown sugar/cinammon and pumpkin. The finish is a little dry with alcohol warmth and flavor. The pumpkin and spice linger into the finish.

M: Good mouthfeel. Like the carbonation.

D: This is a well crafted pumpkin ale. Very nice on a fall day. You gotta love October.

Kromes, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of joozyboozy
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

there was almost no head in this beer, and it dissapated to no lacing what so ever. it is a clear solid redish orange color.

the smell was amazing. if you have had pumpkin pie, this is pumpkin pie in a bottle.

the taste was very delicious on the pumpkin end but as far as beer flavors go its not the best. but really if you think about it alot of hops and heavy grains would just kill the pumpkin taste.

the mouthfeel was suprisingly thick. medium carbonation and a bit sticky

joozyboozy, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of pzrhsau
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice deep orange/brown color with a tight carbonation that builds into a decent head.

Smell: Has a nice roasted malt scent to it. The pumpkin pie feel is also very evident.

Taste: The roasted malts definitely come through as well as the sweetness of the pumpkin. This had a better balance than the other pumpkin beers I had sampled.

Mouthfeel: Good weight to it with a nice creamy finish.

Drinkability: It is definitely not too overpowering. Id say the limiting factor would be the price for me but otherwise i really enjoyed this beer.

pzrhsau, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of moebeer385
1.85/5  rDev -53%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

While I've never had a bad Dogfish Head brew (no matter how experimental), this one takes the cake, or pie rather, pumpkin pie. And I really don't want to leave a negetive review, but I almost couldn't finish this one. This has never happened to me before.

At the pop of the cap, I was refreshed with the scent of a decent IPA. Not bad, but I had hoped for a more spicy aroma. I cought a very, very slight hint of pumpkin and spice behind the bitterness.

On to the pour...NICE! Good look, and a nice head that stayed around for a while, without leaving a lacing on the top of my glass. When looking through it, I saw a not to dark/not to light amber with a extra hint of red/orange to it. Looked beautiful.

That first mouthfull...felt good, thin but not watered down. Decent carbonation. Then the taste...sadness overcame me. I was quickly brought back to my teenage years, when the "dirty-30" pack of Keystone Light was a great deal. Unfortunatly- it was the "funneled too many", hurled over the toilet till the sun came up, I need my toothbrush! taste I was reminded of. Honestly, this was the first thought that came to mind.

As for drinkability, I'll leave it at that. Maybe I just had a bad bottle, but I wont risk wasting another beer that somebody else may like to try it again.

moebeer385, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of dolemite77
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours frothy into a nice lacy head... color is similar to bourbon, but with LOTS of carbonation... aroma is as expected- pumpkin pie. Flavor is a bit thin for me, with a little too much pumpkin, and not enough malt to balance it out... it is much better than the macro pumpkin beers that always pop up this time of year, mainly due to the higher alcohol of this... if I put myself in the mind of a winter warmer, it becomes more palatable to me... I might like this to be a bit darker, with less pumpkin, and more spice... that might round it out better for me.

dolemite77, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of ImusBeer
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the beer of the month at my Taco Mac location.

Came to me in a large mug, copper / amber color very clear with an off white head. Bubbles continued to rise from the sides and bottom of the beer.

There was very little aroma at the start and it didn't change from that as the beer warmed up.

The taste was about as impressive as the smell some spice, some pumpkin but very little.

The mouthfeel from the carbonation made the drink very refreshing there was some slight bitterness at the finish. All in all a very good very mild ale.

ImusBeer, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alas, like with Pizza Port brews you ask me where I had this beer. Well, since it comes in a BOTTLE, I actually had it at home. But alas, thanks for asking.

From a 12 oz. bottle and poured into a large wine glass, this brew pours a clear deep golden copper in color. A half inch of head dissipates quickly. Rather clear and light for a self proclaimed 'brown ale'.

Interesting sweet light caramel nose with a touch of fruit and sugar. Otherwise has a light amber sense to it. Rather nondescript with just a hint of ginger spice and light 'pumpkin'. Allspice and nutmeg? Yeah, Me Talk Pretty One Day. Or not.

Flavor is light, as is the carbonation. Slight amber sense to it, otherwise light in body and rather boring overall. Unimpressive. And from Dogfish Head, at $2.79 for a single, extremely unimpressive. Simple and subtle, yet don't bother.

HalfFull, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of turnstile
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an orange-amber with a one-inch off-white foamy head that quickly dissipates into a ring around the brew. No noticeable lacing.

Smell: Complex aromas here. Biscuity yeast, nutmeg and pumpkin first; cinnamon and a slight hint of brown sugar towards the end. Maybe some earthy hops, but nothing strong coming through.

Taste: Like a slice of pumpkin pie. The strongest spice to come through is the nutmeg - the pumpkin hangs in there at the end. Strong malt character. The ABV is hidden well.

Mouthfeel: A creamy, medium-heavy body with slight carbonation adding a nice bight at the end.

Drinkability: Spicey and creamy like a dessert beer, but I could have more than one. I might have to buy a case to stretch into the winter.

Certainly the best pumpkin beer on the market. It's best on-tap in order to get that perfect creamy head.

turnstile, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a slight, off white head that soon disappears, for the most part. The beer is a bright burnished copper in color.

smell: Nice mix of aromas going on here. Plenty of spice and pumpkin, accompanied by some moderate esters. Nice and sweet smelling, but not cloyingly so, with some caramel and brown sugar. Hop presence is low, as it should be.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body the same.

taste: The taste is a little more subtle in the ester and spice department, which is good. A nice caramel malt backbone blends with flavors of pumpkin pie spice. Hard to pick out the pumpkin, though I feel as if I can...maybe some roasted pumpkin seed too. Just a touch of bitterness at the finish.

drinkability: An above average pumpkin, and a pleasure to drink.

Anthony1, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of pedrito
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was happy to see this one at the store today. I'm a fan of the pumpkin variety, and this is probably one of my favorites.

Appearance: Golden copper body and minimal head.

Smell: Somewhere between a jar of pennies and brown sugar.

Taste: Rich and buttery initially with heavy brown sugar. After it settles a bit the nutmeg and pumpkin come out. There's a definite metalic aftertaste that makes your tongue tingle along the sides a bit.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard - bubbly on the tongue, smooth wash down.

Drinkability: With a month to go till Halloween, this one's got some definite mileage.

pedrito, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice orange-tinged gold with a large foamy white head and nice lace.

Smell: mild and sweet and alarmingly similar to pumpkin pie.

Taste: sweet and pumpkiny with a lot of the spices evident; nutmeg and cinnamon definitely present. I'm not usually big on pumpkin beers but this isn't bad.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with an alright level of carbonation.

Drinkability: pretty good; actually quite quaffable for the ABV.

This fall I'm going to try to drink more pumpkin beers to get a better idea of where I stand on them. Then I'll revisit this one with a better idea on style comparison.

flagmantho, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of njmoons
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pumpkin Beers, I like the way they smell...

I can't go to far into the taste here.

Punkin Ale look, tastes, drinks, feel like a very mundane medium ale.

The aroma of this beer is great, with those pumkpin pie spices, but other than a little vegetable flavor the aroma does not transfer into the beer.

I can't 'crush it' because as pumpkin beers go this was solid, but not something I would drink again.

njmoons, Sep 29, 2009
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 5,799 ratings.