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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,952 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,952
Reviews: 2,011
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 315
Gots: 908 | 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: 5,952 | Reviews: 2,011 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gopens44
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second foray into the wild wacky world of pumpkin beers. This one better than the last.

A - good. Head started at about 2" but recessed into a foamy film. Nice color. Coppery brown.

S - smells like a normal brown ale with nutmeg. A very remote hint of alcohol, but very remote.

T - decent enough. A little dry, a good tasting ale without the flavorings, but the added spice creates a more complex funtime experience. Taste a little alcohol, but much like the smell, it's a little remote.

M- bitter on the front of the tongue but finishes creamy and smooth. Medium carbonation

D - I like it, and fear that I will need more

Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a burnt amber color with no head to speak of...

S - Huge toasty biscuit with not much spice, a little hard to discern individual spices (I know it's on the label)

T - More of the same from the aroma, but I kept getting this impression of burnt... something... I can liken it only to an empty restaurant coffee pot that has yet to be cleaned. It has a firm bitterness that balances well with the sweet and mouthfeel, but also detracts from it's serial consumption score for me.

M - Full-bodied and balanced well by the carbonation that might have otherwise appeared a little high.

D - Overall, a decent beer, (again) well-balanced, but nothing of real excitement to bring me back for more.

Photo of ksimons
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark clear amber with a thin amount of head that quickly disappears

S-pumpkin pie in a beer. Lots of pumpkin, cinnamon, malts, and a hint of alcohol

T-very similar to the smell. Pumpkin, malts, and a spicy finish.

M-medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and very creamy with an alcohol warming

D-very drinkable, the perfect amount of pumpkin and spice, and unlike lots of pumpkin beers is not watered down at all

Photo of ibbjamin
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle from Whole Foods in Cupertino, CA. Can't believe the halloween stores and pumpkin ales are already popping up...where did the summer go??? Poured into a pint glass to review. I believe I paid $1.99 for this brew.

Half inch white, pillowy head after a standard pour. Decent head retention and lacing. Good carbonation. Transparent copper in color.

The aroma is just about what I was expecting after reading the label; pumpkin pie, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove, toasted malts and cinnamon.

Taste is similar to the nose and is a great signal of the change of seasons.

Medium body with pleasant carbonation. Goes down very easily with a perfect mouthfeel.

A really nice fall seasonal that I'll be getting again for sure. I've tasted a few of these along the way and I'd say this one and Elysian's Pumpkin Ale have been the best I've tasted.

Photo of blivingston1985
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first pumpkin beer. I trusted the guys @ Dogfish to take care of me and they didn't let me down.

Didn't quite have the nose I expected. Was kind of hoping for the whole room to smell like a fresh baked pie, but like I said. Never had one before. Looked fair white head capping a rich just slightly hazy brown body. Tasted of everything you would expect. Nutmeg, cinnamon abound. I liked the biscuity characteristics the most. Just enough there to make you imagine a brown graham cracker crust. This beer reminds me of a pumpkin spiced FatTire. Overall very happy with this one. My lovely girlfriend also enjoyed two, herself.

Photo of jthor018
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Golden orange. Not much of a head.
S: Smells like pumpkin pie and makes me ready for Thanksgiving.
T: Tastes like Thanksgiving dinner's dessert; a beer while eating pumpkin pie. Nutmeg taste comes through.
M & D: A sipper. Could drink like water but why would you? Makes me anxious for summer's end.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fall beers in August!?!? Sacrilege. But I couldn't turn down the good beers for too long.

This is a decent brown ale looking brown ale. It's not as dark as I would have hoped for it to be. Likewise, this beer's head only lasted for about 3 seconds. As for consistency with it's style I'd say it's slightly better than average. The carbonation of this beer is also decent, nothing too special, ran a tad flat towards the end.
This beer smells outstanding. When I was able to take a whiff of the beers head it gave me thanksgiving dinner nostalgia with nice spice notes and definite pumpkin. This has great aromatics and I'm so happy to not have to smell overwhelming citrus for another 8 months.
This beer tastes like a brown ale with a nice balanced of spices and malt. I appreciate a brewery that can pull spices into a beer so they are noticeable but not overwhelming. I get all the brown ale flavor I want and a strong ABV to go along with it.
The beer feels nice and dense like a spice cake muffin in my mouth. It has nice carbonation and a refreshing sweetness in the aftertaste.
This beer deserves to come in a 4 pack (FOR ONCE). Although I enjoyed this beer a lot, I am satiated by one and wouldn't delve much past that. After dinner this would be perfect.

Good Beer. Cheers.

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

A: Pours a nice translucent amber color, very nice coloring with a thin head which leaves a ring around the outside edge of the glass, but also a thin circled in the middle.

S: The majority of the smell comprises of mild spices and bit of pumpkin. There's also a little bit of nuttiness that resembles a traditional brown ale.

T: Tastes just like a pumpkin spice muffin. The pumpkin is definitely present as are the spices, specifically the brown sugar and nutmeg. Overall, the tastes compliment each other very well.

M: A nice full-bodied ale with the right amount of carbonation, which leaves a pleasant but mild aftertaste on the tongue.

D: Quite drinkable as I've come to expect from other Dogfish offerings. I'd definitely have another.

Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice deep dark amber colour with a foamy thick 2 finger head that slowly faded away leaving some solid lacing.

S - Very faint on the spices (nutmeg and allspice). Atleast I can pick up on them, but would like more.

T - Much like the smell, faint spices and a bit of malt. At the very, very end there is a faint touch of liquid pumpkin

M - Light carbonation and creamy.

D - Solid pumpkin ale. So much better than Harvest Ale, and unlike shipayard this actually had pumpkin. That all being said, I have had better pumpkin ales I just need to rediscover them.

Photo of begforme4484
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've always been a fan of this beer, just was never a memeber of this site to rate it. So, here we go!

Pours an pretty orange copper color with a good amount of offwhite head with good retention. Laces very well on the glass.

Smell is of nutmeg, cloves, and various other harvest season spices. Sense some orange peel and some slight hops in there as well.

The taste is spicy and sweet. The spices use blend together extremely well to give you a very fall warmth feeling. Warmth surely coming from the seasonal boozy factor. It feels like fall when you're drinking this beer. I'd definitely advise to drink it on a crisp cool night.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. It's warming, it's boozy, it's medium bodied and doesn't have an annoying linger.

Drinkability? I can very easily sit down and make a 4 pack disappear.

Photo of guess98224
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

We live in Delaware, and we've been drinking Punkin Ale for a couple of years now. The bottle we opened tonight was from 2009.

A- Nice head that lasts. Orangey/amber color.

S- Pumpkins! Smells like the spices in pumpkin pie, which are cinnamon and nutmeg. It smells so good.

T- Light malty taste, pumpkin, spices. I was seriously thinking about putting just a smidge of pumpkin pie spice on the top.

M- Smooth and light.

D- I really enjoy this beer. It's a seasonal, but we have enough cases that we drink it year round. I'm used to drinking Imperial ales. which are very big, hight abv beers. To me, this is a nice, light change. It's great in the summer. I definitely can share a couple of these. This is the best pumpkin ale out there.

Serving type: bottle

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

Bottled in 2010
A- White head with light lacing that tends to hang around. Orange/amber body. Looks good so far.

S- Strong sent of pumpkin, spices, and sugar. Very pleasant. I'm not too familiar with this style of beer but it seems like a winner so far.

T- The first thing that really hits me is the brown sugar. The brown sugar and malt taste is a good combination. The pumpkin is evident in the aftertaste and is rather enjoyable. I was hoping for a stronger spice taste but was still pleased with the final product.

M- smooth and creamy with a slight tingle.

D- This is what a seasonal beer should be. It matches the food of the season and is a relaxing drink. Only thing that could make it much better would be a more pronounced spice taste.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass this brew pours a copper orange with a slightly frothy tan head about 2.5 fingers thick.

S: The aroma has all the notes of the upcoming season. Cinnamon and pumpkin poke through the most. This brew really is a good blend of spices, with noting over powering.

T: The flavor is excellent. Of course the usual are present...pumpkin spice, cinnamon, a small amount of nutmeg. Together these flavor give this beer notes of ginger bread. mhmmhmmm.

MF/D: The mouthfeel is slightly heavier then medium, and drinkability is excellent.

Overall all, this beer tastes like America. It's got all the elements of the season, and brings back memories of my youth spent in the north. I love this brew, it really gets me excited for the season.

Photo of lovindahops
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 version. This is the cream of the crop seasonal brews out there for me.

A- an orangy amber body with a fantastic white head of foam that actually hangs around. There is extreme white lacing on the side and superb frosting like lacing on the side of the brew. Very Hall-o-weeny, if you will

S- Wow. A seasonal done right.... pumpkin scent- CHECK! Spices- CHECK! Cinnamin and sugar- CHECK! The yeast and malt is revealing as well. That definitely allows the brew to be a beer. The brew is absolutely spot on with characteristics of a pumpkin beer

T- JUST THE SAME AS I HOPED FOR! The taste is a spiced pumpkin brew. A combination of spices a pumpkin flavor theme is spot on. The brew is sweet as well full bodied with fantastic flavor. Very warming and tasty

M- full and creamy.... a lil extra carbonation

D- this is hands down the best seasonal brew I can ever think of on the spot. The brew is delicious and spot on with the seasonal aspects of the fall. I can drink these nonstop. Another winner from DFH.

Photo of teromous
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: It has a very beautiful amber brown color, and it is crystal clear. The head pours on about 1 1/2 fingers and stays up pretty well. Lots of visible carbonation. Not much lacing on the glass. I give it a 5 because it has perfect color and clarity for a brown ale.

S: Doesn't smell remarkable even for an ale. There is no pumpkin or spice on the nose. I knew that dogfish head wanted a lightly spiced beer but I can't smell any pumpkin or spice at all. Tester number 2 didn't smell it either.

T: It tastes good for a brown ale, I will give it that. I taste no pumpkin or spice at all. I wouldn't recommend this to a person wanting to try something with a unique pumpkin or spice flavor.

M: It has an average mouthfeel. It's not remarkable at all.

D: The beer is definitely drinkable. It's a good beer but it feels like more could be done with it. If this were just labeled as a brown ale I would have never known it was pumpkin.

Photo of philbertk
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Brewing Company--Dogfish Head Punkin Ale--2005 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV--24 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Brown Ale--Pumpkin-- Mild lacy head. Clear bright thin amber color. Pumpkin nutmeg mild hop front. Crisp dry sweet fully fermented spicy mild pumpkin caramel spiced rich body. Tangy hot cinnamon nutmeg all-spice end. Tasty. Sampled 9/18/2005.

Dogfish Head Brewing Company--Punkin Ale--2007 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV--24 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Fruit Ale--Pumpkin--Mild lace head. Clear thin bright Pumpkin amber color. Nutmeg spice mild hop front. Mild sweet tangy mild fruit cinnamon nutmeg all spice mellow caramel pumpkin body. Spicy mild hop tangy clean end. Sampled 8/25/2007.

Dogfish Head Brewing Company--Punkin Ale--A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg. 2008 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV--24 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Fruit Ale--Pumpkin--Minimal head. Clear thin bright pumpkin amber color. Cinnamon nutmeg allspice mild hop front. Dry sweet crisp mild tangy pumpkin caramel crystal malt rich spicy body. Mild hop dry crusty cinnamon nutmeg end. Rich crisp Pumpkin Ale. Sampled 9/20/2008. 4-Pack $9.69.

Dogfish Head Brewing Company--Punkin Ale--A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg. 2009 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV--24 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Fruit Ale--Pumpkin--No sediment. Thin lacy white head. Clear thin bright rich pumpkin all spice front. Tangy dry sweet fully fermented spicy rich pumpkin pale caramel malt body. Rich mild hot pumpkin pie spice mild hop zesty end. Big spicy balanced punk! Sampled 9/9/2009. 4-Pack $10.49.

Dogfish Head Brewing Company--Punkin Ale--A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.--2010--12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 24 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Brown Ale--Pumpkin. Rich lacy dense off white head. Clear dark bright amber color. Mild pumpkin hop cinnamon all spice nutmeg front. Dry brown sugar sweet cocoa hint roasted pumpkin spice body. Lingering hot pumpkin spice tangy tasty end. Sampled 8/20/2010. 3 @ $2.99 Each

Photo of Brez07
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled poured into a DFH pint glass

A: Orange/amber hue that surprisingly leaves little to no head. No lacing either. For reason I remembered that being different

S: Right off the bat you can definitely tell this is a pumpkin beer. A nice blend of pumpkin, nutmeg and brown sugar (just like the label suggests)

T: Very similar to the nose. Reminds me a nice cool pumpkin pie. What I think sets this beer apart from other pumpkins ales is the fact that it has a real pumpkin flavor opposed to the artificial flavor. A little sweet but doesn't become cloying

M: Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation that leaves a tingle on the tongue. Has a spicy aftertaste

D: One of my favorite pumpkin beers because of the real pumpkin flavor it has. Easy drinking; I have no problem putting away a 4 pack of this in one sitting

Photo of divineaudio
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 08/06/09. poured into a pint glass.

pours transparent orange with a thin cap of foamy, off white head. no real lacing to speak of, only a spot here and there.

smell is pumpkin with a bit of nutmeg or allspice. also has hints of carmel and a slightly astringent alcohol presence.

taste wise i get a lot of carmel malt and spice, but where's the pumpkin? has notes of brown sugar, nutmeg, slight herbal hop character and a tiny bit of bitterness in the finish. a little (very little) pumpkin seems to come out as it gets warmer, i could taste it for a second and then it was gone.

mouthfeel is the heavier side of medium, and prickly carbonation combined with the spices keep your tongue dancing.

very drinkable and a pretty good beer, but at a year old, the pumpkin flavor seems to have aged right out of this one. color me unimpressed. maybe i'll try again with a fresh batch this year.

Photo of Nature777
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is God's gift to Pumpkin Ales! This is easily the most natural tasting pumpkin ale that I've ever had. A lot of other pumpkin ales that I've had reeked of artificial flavors, a quality that has turned me off of several of this style.

A- This has a very nice amber color, perfect for the style. Compete with a lasting white head, lacing the glass down to the last sip. Utterly superb.

S- This will give any freshly homemade pumpkin pie right out of the oven a run for its money. The smell is exactly what a pumpkin ale should smell like.

T- Pumpkin! Real pumpkin! Absolutely stellar! Considering the high alcohol content, the alcohol is very well hidden.

M- It's a little heavy, but easy to drink. With the high alcohol content, you really don't need to many of these to be in a good place.

This beer is absolutely worth trying! There will be a 4-pack of these in my fridge ever season!

Photo of detlefchef
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 edition. It hasn't even been released here yet, this was a sample, so I wonder what the other reviewers from the last month or so were tasting. Samples from this year? Or last year's juice?

Brilliant copper color with fine white head that lingers and then quickly reforms with a swirl.
Tons of ripe spice and brown sugar aromas.

Fleshy with pie spice flavors and an oddly assertive hop presence with a lingering and somewhat bitter finish. I'm surprised by the review below because it was about the least sweet pumpkin ale I've had. My fellow taster remarked that it almost seemed light after the what she expected from the aromas. I agreed but liked it for this, especially considering the number of cloying bombs in the category.

If I had a concern, in fact, it would be that someone who wants a pumpkin ale will want more flesh and someone who wants a beer that tastes like this would be averse to ordering a pumpkin ale. I may feature it and make a big point of selling it on the virtue of it being particularly balanced.

Photo of claspada
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer looks appropriately amber with a thin head that dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like a thin honey amber.
Smells of brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. Dont get any of the other likely spices. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkin pie, which I do not enjoy as much.
The prevalent brown sugar makes it seem more India Brown like its cousin than Red or Amber like it is supposed to. This beer is just too over the top sweet, "standard Pumpkin" and a bit boozy for me to be impressed. (And I can say this because 2 of my favorite pumpkin beers, Weyerbacher Imp Pumpkin and Southern Tier Pumking are also high in ABV while not tasting like a thick sloopy mess). It's just not quite as pumpkiny as it should be, cinnamon and clove alone do not make it a pumpkin beer.
Overall this is more like cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie); this is far from the go-to for the style for me, and this is a style I have had a lot of.

Photo of chickenandrice
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orangish amber color with a minimal head

S - Pumpkin galore! Spiced to the brim and you can smell it across the room.

T - Nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin. A lagerish taste on the end as it finishes sour and with the punkin throughout.

M - Light bodied, little carbonation. Mouth full of spice and a kick.

D - Started out good, but got harder to drink as I went, got through the bottle with just a bit of difficulty at the end.

Photo of thetomG
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear amber color with a minimal amount of head. Aroma is incredible - instantly I'm picking up pumpkin (obviously) but also huge waves of cinnamon and spices. It really smells incredible.

Flavor is very similar but the spices seem to overpower the pumpkin a bit (this could very likely be because I'm drinking a bottle that is at least 6 months old at this point, so I can't wait to try it super fresh this year!).

It feels almost like a champagne as you drink - super bubbly and lively and light bodied.

Really an interesting and tasty beer that I will certainly be drinking more of in the future. YUM!

Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Orangish amber color with a small white bubble head that dissipated leaving the sides of the glass clean.

S - Pumpkin and nutmeg dominate, with a bit of cinnamon thrown in for good measure. There is a graininess to this and a bit of alcohol in there.

T - Get a decent amount of pumpkin pie taste on this one. Nutmeg and cinnamon and some nice pumpkin. A grainy, malty, lagerish taste on the end as it finishes sour and with a bit of alcohol. Not horrible.

M - Light bodied, moderate carbonation bite adds what seems to be a spicy kick.

D - Started out good, but got harder to drink as I went, got through the bottle with just a bit of difficulty at the end.

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured amber in color with just a few bubbles floating on the surface and a light amount of carbonation.
S: There's a moderate aroma of pumpkin, spices and sweetness in the aroma that comes very close to resembling pumpkin pie.
T: The taste has a good balance between sweetness and spices; the flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar and the spices really stand out.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and silky smooth.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely try this again because the taste is rather interesting and complex for the style.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,952 ratings.