Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
68
poor
2,674 Ratings
THE BROS
41
awful
Read the review
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
shipyard.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,674
Reviews:
881
Avg:
2.89
pDev:
28.03%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
569
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,674 |  Reviews: 881
Reviews by BeerWizard:
Photo of BeerWizard
2.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this in a mixed six from Cost Plus from their seasonal selection. I vaguely remembered having it a few years ago and thought I didn't like it, but decided to try it again for good measure. Pours amber with a smallish white head. Looks OK, nothing to write home about. Smells like your typical pumpkin pie spice beer. Flavor is just, blah - nutty, artificial "pumpkin" and spice. I'm not sure if there is any natural pumpkin component to this beer, but I quickly remembered why I didn't like it the last time. Tastes basically like pumpkin soda. Will say it got better as I drank it, but would never get it again and would not recommend. However, the liquor stores around here seem to buy truckloads of it so someone must like it.

 733 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of franklinn
5/5  rDev +73%

A: 5/5 Looks great! Radiant in the glass

S: 5/5 Smells like pumpkin pie!!! Nutmeg and spice and pumpkin and malt.

T: 5/5 Exactly like it smells but even more intense. How is that possible?? Huge cinnamon roll things going on, plenty of vanilla as well. Spectacular!

M: 5/5 Velvety and smooth. Perfect.

O: 5/5 Literally flawless interpretation of the style.

 366 characters

Photo of Todd
1.12/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pale yellow, very cidery in appearance, with a fizzy white head that you can literally hear sizzle its way into a head of nothing. I'd expect something a bit more robust looking to usher my palate into the fall with this beer.

No real pumpkin aroma, but rather the spices employeed when baking traditional pumpkin pies. Label states "Malt beverage with pumpkin spice added" -- says nothing about actual "pumpkin."

Very thin, and even though this is an ale (I use the term loosely) it has that cheap lager feel on the palate -- fizzy and bland. Speaking of fizzy, the carbonation is over the top. Not a hint of maltiness. Sweetness tastes contrived, as does the pumpkin spice flavour. Touch of sour in the background along with a moment of astringency. Finish goes dry with a semi-husky feel.

Hands down one of the worst Pumpkin Ales that I've ever tasted, and ranks up there with my worst beers ever. Save your money. Avoid this beer at all costs. This is not what New England style Pumpkin Ales are about.

 1,015 characters

Photo of mromagna
4.18/5  rDev +44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Everyone wants to downgrade this Pumpkin Ale here on this forum. I'm losing respect for the reviewers with this one. It's a great Pumpkin Ale, and I've compared many. It's not overpowering with spices or flavor, but is always the one the enjoy the most. It's better than average, and extremely satisfying. It's a great Fall New England pumpkin ale. Not sure why all the hate for this, maybe it's too mainstream for those trying to be different. It's a great choice, and I come back to it every year. Thanks Shipyard!

 516 characters

Photo of Marraybay
2.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Meh..."cider-esque" is the immediate thought that comes to mind. Thin; apple juice color; translucent. Very cinnamon forward in both nose and taste. Next to no booze. There will be no rematch.

 196 characters

Photo of iSTOLEyourPOPE
4.84/5  rDev +67.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Easily one of my favorite beers. When served at a bar, make sure to get cinnamon on the glass. If your friends give you a hard time, knock them out with the empty 24oz.

It smells great. The spice is clearly there.

The taste is amazing. Good hit of cinnamon. To me, the cinnamon is stronger than the pumpkin, which is a good thing.

I just wish it was sold year round.

 369 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
3.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 12 oz. Can

A- Pours a Clear Golden liquid that lacks a proper head. The appearance of this beer is quite lacklustre and lacks anything that could impress.

S- If you enjoy Pumpkin Pie, this beer may excite you to high levels... damn this beer smells amazing. Although it doesn't exactly smell like "pumpkins", this beer smells uncannily like Pumpkin Pie.

T- Much like the aroma, the taste is full of Pumpkin Pie. Surprisingly, this flavour doesn't really come off as too sweet and is quite nice. Once again, this beer does NOT taste like Pumpkins but it does taste an awful lot like Pumpkin Pie and that is a treat I happen to enjoy greatly!

M- Unfortunately, the great aromas and flavours are presented by mouthfeel/body that reminds me of a budget beer (think Busch, Keystone, etc.) or any other cheap Lager. The body is extremely weak and the carbonation reminds me of a soft drink. Extremely disappointing for a beer with such a great aroma and taste.

O- While this Pumpkin Ale tastes quite great (although not pumpkin tasting at all), the appearance and mouthfeel ultimately prevent it from being a solid brew. Sure, if you can get past the look and body and focus on taste and aroma only, this is a pretty decent beer. Due to the fact that I think this beer tastes damn good, I don't mind suffering through a (excuse my language) shit appearance and body. While I wouldn't recommend this beer because of its qualities as a whole, I do recommend it for its aroma and taste.

 1,502 characters

Photo of NonSequitur
4.5/5  rDev +55.7%

I'm surprised by the 69 BA rating, and angry about the bros 41 score. Without being prejudiced by the label or description, Pumpkinhead simply delivers a great tasting and refreshing product in this category. And unlike the more expensive Pumple Drumkin ($11 for 6), this one is inexpensive, widely available, and tastes like what it says it tastes like. I look forward to this one each fall.

 395 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.69/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Gold bullion with absolutely no hint of orange that I can see. I don't know how it's possible to brew a pumpkin ale and have it be anything other than orange. Points need to be taken off for that alone. The yellowed bone crown is nothing special either. It's small, short-lived and unsticky. No surprise then that no lace ends up on the glass. Not a good start.

I like the nose because it smells a lot like pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. At least that's the impression that enters my brain each time I sniff. It's a bit weak though, and doesn't earn the next highest score as a result.

I wondered how well a pumpkin ale that uses a wheat beer as its base would turn out. And the answer is... not very well. Pumpkin ales need to be brewed with caramel malty amber ales (or something along those lines) in order to work. In this case, the grainy wheatiness comes through and impinges on my enjoyment of the other flavors.

It might have worked if those 'other flavors' were more prominent and more pumpkin pie-like. This is one of those cases in which the aroma and the flavor don't really match up. SBC says that Pumpkinhead contains 'hints of cinnamon and nutmeg'. I'll go along with that. Strong statements rather than hints of spice would have made for a better beer however.

The mouthfeel is no more impressive than the flavor. It's too thin by half and comes scarily close to being aqueous on the finish. Actually, it is aqueous on the finish. A lack of bubbles doesn't help. This beer just isn't big enough to be a credible fall seasonal. Who wants to drink light beer when there's a chill in the air and frost on the pumpkin?

I've never been impressed by Shipyard (with the exception of Old Thumper) and this beer does nothing to change my mind. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow-like Pumpkinhead dude on the label, but the bottle's contents leave quite a bit to be desired.

 1,898 characters

Photo of oberon
2.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well I made many trips here this past week because it was in the same town where I had my honeymoon.This one sells like crazy,why?Anyways pours an incredably light color for a pumpkin ale with almost no head,aroma is crazy spicey-cinnamon and allspice and nutmeg.Taste hits hard with the spice when first hits your taste buds,way to much nutmeg and cinnamon after a few it mellows a little but definently not a top notch pumpkin ale.

 433 characters

Photo of Dekhar
3.44/5  rDev +19%

Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of ExtraStout
2.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It pours lager yellow with maybe a bit more copper. There is a thin white head that does not last too long. Little lacing and ample carbonation.

This is not what I expected. It didn't look, smell, or taste like an ale. It was just too light. I did like the spiciness of the beer - nutmeg and cinnamon (pumpkin pie), but if it had been backed up by a more robust platform I would have enjoyed it more. 1 beer maybe enough for most.

 432 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +38.4%

Photo of OhioBobcat
3.5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of npala86
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of tbryan5
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of Straz85
1.94/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this at a fall wedding. It was either this, Bud, Coors or Heineken. I had never had this and generally I love pumpkin ales.

Light orange/yellow in color. Fizzy, looks like a soda. Smells like a pumpkin pie without the pumpkin (if that's possible). The taste was awful. Tasted like a bad ale mixed with water and pumpkin pie spices, very minimal pumpkin flavor. It was easy to drink because it had so little flavor.

In the future, I will choose water, juice or soda over this beer.

 490 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
2.5/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of Anstuart5
2.2/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
2.5/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of coffee84
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of MikeC144
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.27/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*I originally posted this a month or two back under the wrong Shipyard pumpkin ale (Eli's). This Pumpkinhead Ale is the one I meant to review*

Cinnamon ahoy! I cant believe the amount of cinnamon in this beer! I dont have the most distinguished palate, but this is a blast in the face! There are also apple tones present. Very interesting. I gave the taste a (relatively) high score for this beer, but I dont know if I should have. It kind of belongs in a catagory of all its own - cinnamon beer. There is so much more of that than any noticeable pumpkin flavor. Compared to other pumpkin ales, this one would rank low, as it doesnt seem to really follow the guidelines. I liked the taste, though, so it gets a 3.5 in that area.

All that being said, there is not too much else notable about this Pumpkin ale. It is very light colored, which is a bit of a turnoff. Same blast of cinnamon in the nose. Light, sharp mouthfeel to match.

I think after more than one of these beers, things would get way too sicky-sweet, and possibly nausea-inducing. I definitely wouldnt want a whole six pack. Low drinkability.

 1,115 characters

Photo of joel_bou
3.52/5  rDev +21.8%

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
2.89 out of 5 based on 2,674 ratings.
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