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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,924 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,924
Reviews: 2,008
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 313
Gots: 875 | 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: 5,924 | Reviews: 2,008 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm aware that this punkin is about 9 months old (maybe 10), but I decided to review it because I actually like it better now than when it was fresh.

Punkin has a Clear, dull orange-colored body that is clear but has a few traces of sediment floating around.

Punkin Ale has the aroma that I expect of a pumpkin flavored ale; a blend of spices such as nutmeg and brown sugar, a touch of pumpkin and generally the same aroma as pumpkin Pie.

Nutmeg is such a strong flavored spice that I sometimes wonder if it is a good idea to brew with it. For me, it sometimes tends to be overwhelming. Punkin does a decent job with it however, the nutmeg flavor is pretty strong without being overwhelming or off-putting. It is still the strongest flavor in the beer though. Since this bottle is a few months old, I really wonder if the nutmeg has died down with a little bit of age. I swear the last bottle I tasted had entirely too much nutmeg flavor going on. After that I notice the other spices that Punkin was brewed with, including allspice, brown sugar and cinnamon. I would say out of that group, the brown sugar is most noticeable and the cinnamon is the least. After those there is just a touch of hops that adds some bitterness, and some biscuit-like malt sweetness. I swear I can taste a bit of pumpkin also, but there is a good chance that the combination of pumpkin pie spices and the fact that I expect pumpkin fools me into tasting it. Overall Punkin is a solid pumpkin flavored beer.

The body is fairly light, and the carbonation is moderate. Basically, there is nothing remarkable in a positive or negative way about punkin's mouthfeel. I'll call it solid.

Punkin is a solid pumpkin flavored beer, and when the season makes its way around again in a few months, I'll probably give it another try if I am in the mood for the style.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to a fizzy soda like cap. No lacing was present.

S - Smells of sweet bread dough, tangy fruits, and pumpkin pie spices.

T - Bitter/spice taste to start out with a malty aftertaste.

M - Decent carbonation gives a bubbly coating feeling in the mouth.

D - Solid niche beer. I am glad I tried this beer and I would probably get it again in the fall but it wasn't something I would drink a lot of. Definitely one of the best pumpkin ales though...

Photo of adamette
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I purchased as a single for $2 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills a few days ago into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. "Bottle on 07/29/09" stamped on the neck of the bottle.

A 3 inch creamy white head over a slightly cloudy but very pumpkin color body. Minimal bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass and some trace sediment floating about. 4.0

S Very nice soft pumpkin, spicy smell which is interesting and inviting. Also prominent is the allspice. 4.5

T Really quite good with strong levels of pumpkin, spices including allspice (I really like the smell/taste of allspice) and nutmeg. It reminds me of my favorite pumpkin beer, Southern Tier Pumking but it lacks the silky smoothness of the Pumking. This is a very good pumpkin beer in its own right, however. 4.5

M Feel is only slightly better than average and, as suggested, not the really great smoothness of the Pumking. 3.5

D Very good, especially for the ABV level that it carries. 4.0

Notes: I am very impressed with this skillfully crafted pumpkin beer and I think that you will be as well.

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

Poured from bottle into Red Wine glass (no snifter available)

A- Pours with very light orange, minimal head (.5cm), doesn't linger around too long though. Beer has a gorgeous color to it, glowing orange with slight opacity.

S- Wow. One of the most delicious and complex aromas I've had the pleasure of sticking my nose into. Smells like pumpkin pie on thanksgiving. Definite pumpkin smell, cinnamon and nutmeg become very clear upon a second pass. Very excited to taste.

T- Delicious. Taste matches the smell very closely. Tastes like mild pumpkin, slight cinnamon, and a surprising amount of nutmeg. Fantastic sweetness.

M- Incredibly smooth, almost a milky feel in the mouth

D- Very drinkable, the best pumpkin ale I've had. Definitely recommend picking up a four-pack!

Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 9/30/09.

A - perfectly clear deep honey amber with a short lived head. Touch of lace. Good retaining cap. 4.0

S - rich caramel maltiness. Subtle yet balanced pumpkin pie spices. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, touch of pumpkin and alcohol spice. Very light metallic twang. 4.0

T - spices are very subtle yet complements the malty backbone well. light bittering hops but doesn't overwhelm the spices at all. Very well balanced and a nice sweet finish. 4.0

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated. Smooth, somewhat dry finish. 4.0

D - Highly drinkable. One of the best pumpkin beers. 4.5

Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep copper, nice head, leaves fast though, lots of cling lace left behind.

S - Holiday spices, pumpkin and malt.

T - Taste follow smell, but it shored up by nice bittering in finish.

D - Very few Pumpkins I would rate a session. While nice, it is not my favorite style and might skew my rating.

Photo of coldwarkid
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*I've done a review of this beer fresh, to my disappointment, so I thought I'd age a bottle for 6 months and see if that makes any difference. It was stored at a little warmer than optimal temp, around 60-65* Site requires me to select another "serving type"

Appearance: Poured into a nonic pint, yields a two finger, tan head that gradually fades into a thin cap. Has a pretty, burnt orange/sienna brown colour with minimal lacing.

Smell: Smell from the get go is much more promising than the fresh bottle. I smell more malts as well as a certain earthy spiciness similar to nutmeg mixed with noble or English hops, and a faint whiff of cinnamon and caramelized sweetness. I can actually detect the vaguely sweet pumpkin aroma now, which makes me a happy camper.

Taste: A fair amount less alcoholic and more flavourful than I remember, which is great. Spice flavours are more prominent, which is to say present, but subtle, which is okay. Definitely not a spice bomb - nothing cloying or overbearing. Still, it tastes like a vaguely spicy Boston Lager, not too much going on, but that's fine. It's not meant to be a legendary, epic beer as far as I am understood.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied ale, nice, soft carbonation. Nice and smooth. I wish it had a bit more body and character though.

Drinkability: Definitely more drinkable than the tiresomely alcoholic fresh version. If you ever buy a 4 pack, try one, see if it's too fresh, and store the rest for 6 months to a year before cracking them open again. Time definitely mellows out the alcohol and brings the subtle flavors to the stage.

Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Bronze color with a quickly fading head. The color seems a slight hazy.

S - Pumpkin spices (nutmeg, slight ginger, allspice). I am also picking up some apple in the background.

T - Very nice! Just enough pumpkin and spice but still tastes like an ale and not a flavored beer. On the front end I get something like pumpkin pie without being sweet, and a dark or roasty malt flavor. On the back end I gather some mild hoppiness. I am also getting a warmth in the back of the throat and in the pit of my stomach. I can drink this, feel like a man and not and beer hating chick who ordered some mid nineties era fruit beer.

M - Medium bodied, slightly creamy texture, solid flavor (there is nothing thin about the flavor - no detection of any scintilla of watery character).

D - Gulping this one down too but in all fairness, since I've started drinking beer for the purpose of enjoying the flavor, I've noticed that I've been gulping nearly every beer I drink.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The bottle called this a brown ale with pumpkin spice (and some other shit)... I was expecting it to look like a brown ale based on this. Instead, this was a coppery amber color, perfectly clear, with some cream colored head at the top.

The smell and taste were among the better attempts at pumpkin ale that I've had the chance to try; but I've really only had one that was worth drinking... And I don't think this was anywhere near the caliber of that one.

The strong point of the beer for me was the mouthfeel. Everything else was 'meh'. Nothing special.

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to an American 16oz pint
No freshness date

A: Pours a brilliantly clear copper with a solid 1.5 finger tan head which eventually reduced to a solid cap. There was also good head retention leaving behind clingy tan lace.

S: Definitely malt-forward sweetness in the nose with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. What you should expect from a Northeastern pumpkin beer.

T: Spice taste follows the aroma with a nice rich brown sugar sweetness. Bitter with beautiful lupulin goodness on the finish. Toasted bread and biscuit malt flavor are present completing the sweet and toasty flavors. Flavor is crisp with a nice slight warming finish.

M: This is a full and chewy beer from the malt profile that's presented in the flavor. Good carbonation with a med dry finish.

D: I'd say this was a medium-full bodied beer which could become heavy over a long session. There is a decently high ABV but not very apparent in the flavor or aroma. It is sweet which is expected but yet refreshing.

As far as I'm concerned this is the best Pumpkin Ale I've tasted and possibly the best out there.

Photo of ugaterrapin
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. It has a clear golden brown color. There was barely half a finger of head that dissipated after about two blinks. I had this when it was in season about 5 months ago so I am not sure if the head retention was different when I had it fresh. The aroma is still fantastic. It has a sweet overriding pumpkin smell with hints of cinnamon and caramel. The taste is very balanced. I is a little subdued compared to the aroma, but all the elements are still there. Strong pumpkin flavor up front that changes to smooth caramel malt notes on the finish. I could have a few of these in a single sitting. I look forward to getting some well in advance of Thanksgiving this year. I tried to pick some up last year the Tuesday before turkey day and they were sold out.

Photo of office888
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light amber color with foaming white head.

S: Aroma of pumpkin, and other spices. Amazing coincidence, eh?

T: Slight taste of pumpkin. I get more nutmeg, and brown sugar than I do of the pumpkin or the cinnamon. The notes are very light, nothing overpowering.

M: Medium consistency, well carbonated. Small bit of "bite" on the end from the carbonation, slightly syrupy from the brown sugar.

D: Superb flavor with nothing too overpowering. VERY drinkable. I could go through a 4pack with no problems at all. Definitely, a "sit down and drink me endlessly" beer.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled Sept 10, 2009. I've been reluctant to try this one as I'm not a big fan of pumpkin in general, but was recently marked down at a local store so I picked a 4-pack up to check it out.

Pours amber with a one finger off white head, reduces to a whispy covering, leaves very little lace. Doesn't really look like a brown ale, too light.

Aroma is heavily spiced, like gingerbread cookies, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, some caramel, bread and grains.

Flavor is sweet and spiced, sweet caramel malts and ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin. Spice lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, medum carbonation.

As far as spiced beers goes, I put this somewhere between Anchor OSA (very good) and Sweetwater Festive Ale (OK).

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

A: Pours a light copper color with frothy white head that leaves light lacing on the glass.

S: Strong aroma of pumpkin and fall spices. Some sweet carmel malt as well.

T: Tastes like pumpkin pie. Fresh pumpkin upfront with cinnimon, nutmeg and some clove. Sweet carmel malt with hints of vanilla. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium bodied with a little more carbonation than I was expecting.

D: I love pumpkin beers and this is one of the best. Great flavor, and well crafted. I look forward to this one every year.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber poured with a small amount of head. Nothing noteworthy concerning lace or head retention, however I may have not been aggressive enough with my pour.

Smells exactly like a pumpkin pie. Spices come through, with nutmeg being the most prominent. Brown sugar however is not very detectable on the nose.

Light pumpkin taste is noticeable first followed by nutmeg. A burst of bitterness hangs around for a little bit, finally giving way to some bready notes, brown sugar, and very faint cinnamon. Aftertaste is dry and crisp. Overall very mellow and balanced.

Creamy and mouth coating with high carbonation. The aforementioned combination with the enjoyable interchange between the malt and hops character makes this brew highly drinkable.

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a clear orange with a pinky worth of slightly off white head.
oh man, a strong pumpkin smell. nutmeg and cinnamon right along with it, caramel and nuts too.
the taste matches the smell, nutmeg being the dominant spice.
mouthfeel is great too, crisp, carbonation is great. no aftertaste.
overall: this is my second pumpkin ale, and its january but it makes my long for the fall again.

Photo of Alf7247
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 7/29/09. Served in a pint glass.

Poured a clear orange/copper color with a white one finger head that went away shortly after. Minimal lacing. Smelled of muted pumpkin pie spices and malts. Taste was the same, but more pronounced. Smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Nice experience with the first pumpkin ale I've ever had.

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange copper. Small offwhite cream-colored head. Light lacing.

Sweet caramel and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg). Sweet fruity and earthy pumpkin. Like a pumpkin pie!

Sweet caramel, cookie pie crust. appropriately and not overpoweringly spiced with clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Earthy fruity pumpkin. A bit of earthy herbal bitterness. And a touch of bourbon from the alcohol.

very smooth, well carbonated, med body, slightly dry, not as watery/cidery as many other pumpkin brews

A damn good pumpkin brew. One of the better ones I've had. A decent amount of pumpkin and not too much spices with a smooth medium body. Very drinkable, good fall brew that your mom/sis/grandma would even like.

Photo of joepais
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jay
Bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass produced a finger worth of white head that goes to a lace. The body of the brew was amber in color.

There is a big old cinnamon and nutmeg aroma coming of the glass. The flavor is like the pumpkin pie I ate this weekend.
Medium feel in my mouth and good carbonation for my tongue

I am not a big fan of the style but this one isn't that bad

Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Macy's in WR. Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice sunset orange color. Very bright, almost copper-like, sheen to the beer's body. Very hefty white head. Smells like a cinnamon roll. Taste was spot on for a pumpkin ale. Lots of Thanksgiving spices like sugar, cardamon, and cloves. Fairly thick body but light enough to make this quite drinkable. A bit high in abv for a normal pumpkin ale, hence the 4 pack route. A good fall beer from DFH.

Photo of Minotaur
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of pumpkin pie with very little head after only a few seconds. It is clear and crisp looking. On tap it is slightly frothier but into a pint glass is very still.

The appearance and aroma - pumpkin pie spices of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon - combined with the appearance evoke autumn.

The taste is sweet and malty with only very light hop bitterness. It is loaded with spice flavor: it truly tastes like a mouthful of spice and the soft flavor or squash holding it together. There is also a slight alcohol presence that adds warmth.

It is extremely smooth with a thin mouthfeel, making it very drinkable.

This is by far my favorite autumn ale. It works extremely well with just a little bit (or a lot) of age.

Photo of thequeen711
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version of Dogfish Head's Pumkin Ale is quite better than the previous years batch. Full bodied, spiced brown ale, nose and taste of pumpkin, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, makes this brew flavourful and tasty. Mouthfeel is light, and taste is so quenchable. This year's batch just overcomes flavours from Dogfish past! They have the best batch by far! Thanks for getting better...can't wait for next year's batch!!

Photo of Richardberg
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into a water glass. Small cream head tops a fizzy amber liquid, translucent with orange & brown fringes.

S - sweet potato, clove, caramel malt, cinnamon

T - starts sweet, ample hopping makes itself known but never turns bitter, no alky noticeable. spices become more prominent, with cardamom & nutmeg joining the party.

M - moderate body, crisp, well carbonated, dry finish

D - very easy, doesn't feel like a 7%, spice flavors are well integrated and not too strong, nails the style without becoming a caricature

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

From Notes:

A: A mix between amber and copper in color, the head is off white and settled into some slight lacing.

S: Ok smells like pumpkin pie mix, with some brown sugar as well.

T: Hmm, a slight semi sweet pumpkin with the pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, a slight clove flavor as well. A touch of brown sugar in this one as well.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is as well. The beer has a slick felling as well but not overly slick.

D: I could not have more then a few at a time, the pumpkin pie spice rush would be too much for me to take.

Thoughts- This beer is more spice and less pumpkin, but the flavor is not overpowering like some I have had. This beer is a good stab at the style and something to drink around Halloween.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always wary of Dogfish head, sometimes they like being weird for the sake of being weird, and charging you a pretty penny for it. This is not one of those beers.

Pours like nothing special, wouldn't know this was a pumpkin beer by looking at it. Aromas are delic, a hybrid of pumpkin pie and low alpha acid hops. Taste, one of the better (if not the best) pumpkin ales out there. No progression though, and you probably don't want to drink more than 1 of these per sitting, kind of a desert type beer, but not too sweet.

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 5,924 ratings.