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Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,062 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,062
Hads: 6,329
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 354
Gots: 1,228 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Punkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,062 | Hads: 6,329
Photo of mchegash
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5/5
Pours a very clear orange-brown. No head. A moderate amount of large carbonation bublles flow upwards at a average rate. Nothing really special about the appearance

Smell - 3.5/5
Nutmeg, pumpkin, a little bit of tartness. Smells okay, I wish the smell was a little bit stronger and that there was more too it than just faint traces of nutmeg and pumpkin.

Taste - 4/5
Moderately sweet, nutmeg, pumpkin, tart fruit, faint alcohol taste. I really like the slight tartness which the beer has. The nutmeg/other fall spices are not overpowering which is nice. The sweetness is at just the right level Overall this is a nice taste for a Fall/pumpkin beer. The taste is perhaps slightly watered down in seems.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium-full in body. A light amount of moderate intensity carbonation. A sip starts of crisp, and becomes more creamy near the end of the sip. Though the beer has a medium-full body, at the same time it tastes kind of watery, and feels a little too watery in the mouth

Overall - 4/5
Overall, I thought this was a good fall/pumpkin beer. This is my first of the season, so maybe my thoughts will be different, after I have tried some other similar beers.

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm.... a full bodied "brown ale"... not so sure about that. Despite the misleading description, it has a remarkably pleasant appearance. It is jubilantly orange, with an inviting glow when it catches the light. In fact, the playful and vibrant orange color is the attribute I enjoyed the most about this beer. Not far behind is the aroma. The spices and pumpkin meat meld in to an alluring symphony. My wife declared that it is "mouth-watering". She's not even a big beer drinker. As for the taste....This is a little bit on the cloying side with an initial sugary sweetness, followed by a harsh spicing regimen that sticks to the palate and never quite meshes coherently. The phenolic clove characteristics seem to override the malt presence and compete with a boozy fusel alcohol that rides through the whole experience. The pumpkin flavor is struggling to come through, as are the bready malts, but they get whacked in to submission by the booze and spice. Although not offensive, it's simply not the best-tasting pumpkin ale I've had. Not by a long shot. That said, the mouthfeel is quite nice. Creamy, perfectly carbonated with medium viscosity. Overall, this is a decent representation. I wonder if this beer would age well, perhaps mellowing some of the sharper edges with the spice and alcohol. Perhaps this one would be better with a slightly lower ABV? It's rare that I would suggest going smaller, but in this case, I feel like the higher gravity detracts from the beer. As with most quality brews, as it warmed and through the middle of the glass, the flavor profiles came together a bit more. Worth a try for sure, especially if you like palate-wrecking spiced beers. A tad overrated in my humble opinion. If you want a big pumpkin beer, try Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin. Of course, there's always Pumking for the over-the-top pumpkin experience. Personally, I recommend Smuttynose if you can get it.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pumpkin beer that I (and others, from who I've talked to) will anticipate being released every year. The pumpkin is done perfectly and the beer itself is a perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. With that said, I'm not a big pumpkin beer drinker but I'm willing to try one every once in a while.

L - Dark Orange Color. Very little head that disappears quickly
S - Light Pumpkin smell with a cloves.
T - Pumpkin and cloves. Not too sweet but
M - Medium body, crisp and not overpowering.
O- Not too sweet and a good reminder what good pumpkin beer should be like.

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Photo of Act25
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hard to move the needle in a pumpkin beer. The best of the lot is probably Carton golden squash beer -

A: Clear, orange tea color, decent lacing but a fast fade head (its the pumpkin and the sugar)

S: Good pumpkin pie smell, spice, esters, sugary, gord meat

T: Pie crust, dough, esters, raisins, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes nicely sweet and spicy. Balanced.

F: Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, finish is best part.

Mid pack pumpkin beer.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear orange-brown, bubbles rise slowly, making the body looks pretty thick. White dense head that lasts quite a while. Lacing sticks around for a while. Artwork is pretty sweet.

S: Malt, light pumpkin, maybe clove (boo). The advertised spices are pretty faint, beyond just being subtle, but do provide some complexity.

T: Great combinations of sweet and warm malt, with pumpkin coming in afterwards and a light punch of holiday spices; nutmeg, allspice, fainter cinnamon. There is an unfortunate waft of wet dog every once in a while, but if you use your imagination you can make it seem like another layer of malt.

M: Smooth and thick, almost like melted ice cream.

O: Definitely one of the best beer-pie hybrids. Brought enough of that hedonistic pumpkin/spice theme while still providing real beer character. That wet dog flavor was a major setback, but most everything else was spot on.

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Photo of mick303
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 2014 bottle, this certainly doesn't appear much like a brown ale, it is a crystal cler caramel gold, with a nice cap of cream coloured head with good retention and lacing.

S- aromas of canned pumpkin, pastry spices, nutmeg and allspice, like a pumpkin pie but store bought rather than homemade, lot of spice and played up pumpkin flavour.

T- notes of baked pastry, more roasty pumpkin, caramel, some robust bitterness, mostly earthy with a leathery dryness, herbal pine resins, some cinnamon and nutmeg spice, full bodied flavour through the middle leading to a drying finish with baking spices.

M- moderate body with a fairly heady carbonation, quite a cleansing effervescence, some nice dextrins to the body lending a somewhat creamy pumpkin pie texture, with a nice dry finish.

I was expecting this to be more porterish in style, as is this is much more a straight shooter pumpkin ale with a moderately caramel malt body. Dogfish. Did a good job of keeping this in balance, it's one of the more pleasing and balanced pumpkin ales that actually carries a solid pumpkin profile albeit with a good dose of spice. Well recommended and this was quite satisfying.

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Photo of twosheds
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The orange color really works for a pumpkin beer.

Smells very much like pumpkin pie spices with some slight maltiness.

Malty brown sugar and caramel flavors with some nice blending of pumpkin pie spices. The spices become more prominent the more I drink it and linger for a while after each sip.

Has a lighter mouthfeel and quite a bit of carbonation that gets in the way of the pumpkin pie aspect of the beer for me.

This is one of the better offerings in this style, but doesn't quite match the quality of my favorite pumpkin beers. Although, I do think I could drink a few of these before getting overwhelmed by the pumpkin pie spices like many of the pumpkin beers around.

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Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look- pours a medium light copper color, a decent head and a nice semi thick frothy lace that is mostly ring like and patchy in the middle. Lace is slightly sticky also.
Smell- pumpkin of course, along with spices, possibly cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also an overlying alcohol aroma, perhaps rum, that is pleasant and not overpowering. On the backend of this alcohol aroma, I detect a slight biscuity malt.
Taste- malt forward, bread and somewhat doughy. The pumpkin flavor is there as are the spices. Well hopped but not intensely, the spices and hops act as balancing agents. The finish has an herbal and semi dry feel.
Feel- medium bodied and doughy in the mouthfeel. Softly carbonated but tingly on the tongue.
Overall- One of the better pumpkin beers out there.

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On sight, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale pours clear, pale gold, hinting toward a caramelish brown. The scent it gives off is comprised of brown sugar, slightly caramelized, with hints of vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. The smell is vaguely creamy, with a hint of pumpkin. On the palate, it starts off slightly sweet, with a moderate mouth feel, and a delicate carbonization. Flavor wise, it’s full of brown sugar, light caramelization, cinnamon, allspice, and a touch of nutmeg. The pumpkin element is subdued, but still present, in a distinctly squashy kind of way. It finishes on the spicier side, with touches of butter and a hint of bitterness.

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Photo of 49er
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Regardless of the label, this beer showed no flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice cinnamon or nutmeg. The color was the only thing I liked about this ale, light brown.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml Bottle brought home to me from Virginia, USA:
Clear, bright amber to copper with a bubbly white lacing that covers the surface.

Lots of spice initially with pumpkin notes & sweetness. The alcohol content is well hidden & the aroma is well balanced with some bread but is the spices that dominate with cinnamon, nutmeg & various others featuring.

Spicy with some cinnamon & nutmeg alongside the sugar & pumpkin, there's a strong malt presence with bread & background fruits as well. Some hops make an appearance with hints of alcohol but these aren't the strongest with toasted malts & background fruits at the end.

Medium bodied with above average carbonation & a nice spicy feel to the beer that was tangy & had a good balance. The beer was quite easy to drink & smooth with a dry finish.

Easily the best pumpkin beer I've tried thus far & an excellent all round offering that falls short of being a classic but is very drinkable. Starting off quite spicy, I was initially fearful that this one would end up like some other pumpkin beers I've tried (namely Pumpkinhead from Brewdog) but thankfully this one was a lot more balanced & enjoyable, definitely one I'd pick up each year if it were available here in the UK.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For a supposedly brown ale converted to pumpkin, this is awfully light. Light amber body, large bubbles form the initial head, but dissipates almost immediately leaving nothing whatsoever on top OR on side. No mullet here!

As soon as I pop the top, the sweet spice notes start. Mmmmm.... I get sweet vanilla, some brown sugar, pumpkin, bready malts, and some allspice. The pumpkin is less pumpkin pie sweet and more meaty, like carving pumpkins, or more like pumpkin seeds tossed with brown sugar and vanilla (never done that particular combo, but this is making me think it might be pretty tasty...)

The taste starts off with a bit of that same vanilla, though less pronounced than the nose. pumpkin meat really comes in at the end, with bits of gourd-onic sweet-ish throughout the middle levels. A little bit of spice, and an almost honey-like finish. Again, the brown base declines to introduce itself, opting instead for an almost reddish (but softer) body. The malts are really soft and accessible. Smoothe finish, largely sweet with a soft finish and just a touch of bitter. Caresses rather than cloying

I feel like this is solid, if not particularly gourdbreaking. I actually prefer having a softer, sweeter base, as I don't have a particularly strong affinity for the sharper malts/amber base that a lot of pumpkins seems to use. That's just me, though.

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Photo of BeerHistoryGuy
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Appearance: A surprise -- very clear with orange to amber color. Little bit of lacing with a thin white head.

Aroma: Terrific mix of spices (fall spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.)

Taste: I was surprised. It didn't taste like a true pumpkin ale, in that the pumpkin taste was very subtle..comes in afterwards. The hops balanced well with plenty of fall spices, and the subtle pumpkin/fruitiness at the end rounded out the taste very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a good amount -- just right - of carbonation. Very smooth beer, all in all.

Overall: For me, this was a fantastic beer all around. I have very little bad to say about it, other than that I almost wonder if the name should be more like an "autumn beer," or "fall brew," or something like that, rather than a pumpkin beer -- although pumpkin surely comes in at the end. Still, I'm giving it a 4.75/5 so I'm searching for an issue, here. In reality, It's the type of beer that would compliment a heart beef stew and work perfectly on a cold late-autumn day. The spices, hops, and carbonation are all perfect for me in this and the hint of pumpkin makes it that much better. I could go on and on, but this is a beer that ranks very high on my list of "must haves."

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Photo of scaliasux
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L - Light copper. Mostly clear. Tall off-white head. Persistent.
S - Malty. Maybe some caramel malt with pumpkin. Some vague spiciness.
T - Sweet bready malts. Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie spices.
O - A good example of a not so great style.

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Photo of SebD
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice orangy copper color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves light lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of toasty/bready malts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and some all spice.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has brown sugar, some bready notes, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. Not quite as flavorful as I was hoping it would be.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of predikit
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Pours amber turning to auburn with a small white head with no retention, leaves no lacing behind.

Smells very nicely of pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

The taste isn't as good as the scent here, sweet and spice of front which quickly gets overwritten by an odd flavor, not a pleasant one either. The alcohol really shows up at the end, which I can't say I enjoy either.

Medium bodied, sticks around for a long bit after a swallow.

A good start to an unpleasant finish, left slightly disappointed.

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Photo of barnabasdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

A- honey amber color, one finger head with no retention and no lacing, good visibility,
S- Apple, lemon, light spice
T- hops, dough, apple, all spice, nutmeg, banana, and malts and brown sugar
M-medium body, watery, light carbonation, taste does not linger
O- solid pumpkin ale by dogfish head would get it again

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Photo of Lou22
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

I'm not going to do an in-depth review. I had this beer chill for a little and it was a lot more enjoyable. Definitely a wintery-feel to it. More spice than pumpkin, smooth as ever though. This deserves to be enjoyed.

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Photo of Agent1
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%

It took me over 5 years to acquire this little puppy. Pretty excited to give this a taste!

Appearance - Not quite as full-bodied as I anticipated. I assumed this would be a much richer, darker "brown ale", similar to the Dogfish Indian Brown Ale or Palo Santo in terms of color. Instead, this is quite amber and bright orange in color. Not necessarily a bad thing, per se, just not as malty as I had originally hoped for. Head dissipates almost immediately. No head after a few minutes. Bubbly inside the glass.

Smell - All spice is quite prevalent on the nose. Cinnamon is detectable, yet faint and subtle. Nice and not overbearing.

Taste - Nice and subtle tastes going on here. Pumpkin is light, fermented brown sugar, caramel, molasses, rum, subtle cinnamon, all spice (heavier than other spices, also on the nose). Not detecting much nutmeg. Nice medium malt body. Lightly hoppy and the hops compliment everything else without taking away from the pumpkin and spices.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly well carbonated given how flat this beer looks in the glass. Nice and bubbly and the sugars move all throughout the palate.

Overall - Balanced and easy drinking. GOES GREAT WITH HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PIE. I have a feeling that this may be the point of this Pumpkin Ale: to be a session beer that goes down easy, and in turn, multiples can be enjoyed. It's also a beer that most people can appreciate, including non-beer lovers. Very broad in its approach. Again, this is not nearly as bold as I thought it might be. Sam usually likes to push the envelope with his beers, but this one holds back. Still nicely balanced and nothing to complain about! However, I would have to be honest and say, it is a SLIGHT disappointment for me personally given that it doesn't differ too much when comparing it to other pumpkin ales on the market. Brooklyn Brewery's Post Road is not far off from this and is more widely available. This is still a great beer!

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%

12oz bottle from Bullock's (Woodstock, GA). 8.99/ 4 pack. Bottle date is on a strange format but I believe 6/14/14. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a clear, deep copper with about two fingers of white head. Nice retention across the top and a few spots of lace.

Nutmeg, pumpkin and a malty sweetnness on the nose. Not much going on but it's pleasant enough.

Taste is straight forward as well- toasted malts, brown sugar, pumpkin, allspice, faint nutmeg and a little cinnamon. Smooth and unassuming, this goes down very easily.

Body isn't heavy but has a nice creamy weight to it. Soft carbonation. Finishes with pumpkin, pie spice and brown sugar.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to trying Punkin Ale. It's a very approachable pumpkin beer. Not too spiced and not overly boozey. It might not be my favorite pumpkin brew but it is very well rounded and incredibly easy to drink.

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Photo of MikeRusso
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

This is my favorite pumpkin beer. The flavor of pumpkin is there but not too strong. The spices are aromatic but not artificial on the tongue. It's a nice solid beer with some pumpkin added for flavor. Not a pumpkin with beer as an afterthought.

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Photo of rob111270
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

This is one of the best pumpkin ales I have had. I have been on the hunt for the best tasting one and this is right up there. Has good pumpkin flavor, not overpowering and not as sweet as some of the others I have tasted. This beer has a bit of a bite to it in my opinion. The spices are very well blended for a delicious tasting beer! Best of luck finding this gem this late in the season...although, I did find a place earlier today that still had several cases available. Needless to say, I bought one!!! Happy drinking everyone!!!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A spicy, earthy, and sweet aroma with good hints of pumpkin, fall spices, and caramel. Upfront scent of pumpkin along with a good presence of fall spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Toasted malt with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Hops are pretty light. A very solid pumpkin aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy, sweet, and spicy malt forward taste with notes of pumpkin, caramel, and fall spices. Nice upfront taste of pumpkin. Mix of fall spices with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Toasted malt with sweet notes of caramel and toffee along with biscuit, grains, and yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Mild background notes of earthy hops. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty good pumpkin beer. Good mix of pumpkin flavor with spices and toasty malt notes.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear orange amber with an off-white, finger width head. Poor retention leads to an island of surface suds in the center and a weak ring around the edge.

Smell - Moderate aroma that brings sugary sweetness to the forefront, while pumpkin plays more as the secondary note. Cinnamon and nutmeg spice are noticeable as well, but aren't prominent.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sugary sweet profile with lesser pumpkin notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg come through mid-taste to deliver some spice and play off the malt base to deliver a light pie crust character. Light earthy bitterness. The finish does well to meld all the flavors together, but the sugary sweetness is still the predominant character.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with sharp, bitey carbonation that tingles the lips. Smooth and silky on the swallow.

Overall - I was looking forward to this one, but quickly found myself underwhelmed by it's sugary flavor profile. As far as craft pumpkin ales go, it's middle of the pack, and this 4-pack will likely be my first and last go of it.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.