Pumpkinhead Ale
Shipyard Brewing Company

Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #389
Ranked #49,703
3.04 | pDev: 26.64%
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale
Notes: Pumpkinhead is a crisp, refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spice flavor. To celebrate the fall season, we enhance the pumpkin flavor with a proprietary blend of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg.

A proper pint of Pumpkinhead is served in a pint glass rimmed with sugar and cinnamon and often accompanied by a shot of spiced rum or vanilla vodka.
Reviews: 916 | Ratings: 2,810 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jjamadorphd:
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jjamadorphd from Florida

3.12/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

For a seasonal beer I found this to be surprisingly good. Sometimes when I try these microbrews, the label sometimes gives it away - marginal label = marginal beer (and the lable on this one is just plan weird.) But this time, I was reminded to never judge a book by its cover (or a beer by its label.)

Pumpkinhead poured out with a golden color, with a tinge of orange. The head was perfectly white and airy, and held on longer than similarly airy heads I have experienced. Mouthfeel was less than what I like - the carbonation was extremely high with this brew. I was pleasantly surprised with the distinct pumpkin taste to the beer, wihch mixed very well I thought with the hops and barely.

Nothing outright spectacular, but for something to take in on a hot Halloween night - I would do again.

Nov 03, 2012
More User Reviews:
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franklinn from Vermont

5/5  rDev +64.5%

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.

Sep 27, 2014
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Todd from California

1.12/5  rDev -63.2%
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.

Sep 29, 2002
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mromagna from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +37.5%
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!

Nov 24, 2016
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cacophonyofroaring from New Mexico

4.9/5  rDev +61.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Despite other reviews, I am here to bedunk the myth- the beer is good. It is the taste of autumn to me. While some might suggest my taste for it is purely nostalgia, I am here to objectively declare its merits as a solid and classic fall beer.

Aug 24, 2017
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NonSequitur from Florida

4.5/5  rDev +48%

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.

Oct 20, 2014
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iSTOLEyourPOPE from Massachusetts

4.84/5  rDev +59.2%
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.

Sep 20, 2010
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Marraybay from District of Columbia

2.58/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Oct 20, 2015
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.69/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Nov 07, 2006
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PorterPro125 from Canada (NB)

3.32/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Jan 03, 2015
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countrocula from New Jersey

2.29/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I really wanted to like this. Whether it was my childish "judging a book by its cover" from the Sleepy Hollow headless horseman on the front or the fact that the pumpkin model used was the countenance of an evil jack-o-lantern, I do not know. In any case, I was a bit let down.

Pop the bottle and dispense. Pours with ultra lively carbonation (something already seems to be amiss) and has a hue a tad darker than a Foster's. Head disappears almost immediately and you're left with the splotchy froth that tops many of the macros. Bubbles still lively and seem to never stop.

Big malt and a "pumpkin spice" aroma (not pure pumpkin) akin to the flavoring added to Starbucks' seasonal offerings of pumpkin latte and eggnog hit you.

Mouthfeel is way too bubbly and watery. Had I been suffering from a headcold, I may mistake this for Bud Light.

Any semblance of supposed ale character is remarkably absent. This is almost like an alcohol tinged seltzer with a "pumpkin spice" twist. I thought this is how ZIMA and wine coolers were made.

Oh wait, I've just seen "malt beverage with pumpkin spice added" emblazoned beneath the "ALE" branding. I feel like a fool now...

The remainder of this six pack will go to providing me a cheap buzz and washing down half a pack of Marlboro Reds.

I feel so used :(

Sep 28, 2005
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.12/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The clear amber/orange beer pours out into a shaker pint glass with a 1/2" head of foam that soon recedes and disappears entirely. Before it is gone sipping creates a few small patches of foam on the side of the glass.

The aromas are very light, include some cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and remind of s pumpkin. There's also a light touch of malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the pie spices along with some sweetness from the malt. There don't seem to be any hops showing and there's no bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and the carbonation is very light but reasonably persistent.

This is an easily drinkable beer but not one I'll go out of my way to try again since there's not a lot of complexity here or much to remember. I guess that one of it's strengths is it seems it would fine be to have with food at Thanksgiving time.

Oct 11, 2017
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abrodsky from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Apr 15, 2012
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swgwilt from Tennessee

3/5  rDev -1.3%

Oct 22, 2014
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ceraphin from New York

3/5  rDev -1.3%

Dec 01, 2011
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Mikel772 from Florida

4/5  rDev +31.6%

Oct 08, 2012
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StomachUlcers from Canada (NB)

1.21/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Dec 18, 2015
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Saird from California

3/5  rDev -1.3%

Sep 23, 2013
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4.12/5  rDev +35.5%

Sep 01, 2014
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2.56/5  rDev -15.8%

Oct 13, 2014
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JayQue from Virginia

3.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer was not as bad as I was expecting!!!! Pours a clear gold color with a small creamy white head. Average head retention and no lacing on the glass. Mild pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor and aroma. A little touch of yeast. Mouthfeel is light, not too watery. Hardly a memorable brew, but not a drain pour either.

Oct 13, 2015
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tkach from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev +40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a home-state favorite and I love it. Shipyard has got some decent stuff but this is head over heals amazing!

Appearance is of a mid-dark amber with a very light tan almost white head to it.

Smell I would compare NOT to pumpkin pie but to pumpkin bread, it must be the right combination of spices that makes it smell more like the bread to me.

Taste is amazing. As someone who always looks for something new this really hits the spot. Great with chicken and a salad! Has the perfect combination of pumpkin and spice and it tastes very fresh. It still tastes very much like an ale but the right combination makes it irresistable.

Mouthfeel is probably the lower side of this. The aftertaste is great with its pumpkin spice flavor but seems to go a bit chalky and dry quick.

Drinkability just worked for me, with the clean cold delicious flavor you can just drink it like nothing. This is my beer to love, especially on a nice clear hot fall day with friends gathered around the table having a good time!

Jan 04, 2008
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ejh06752 from New York

2.75/5  rDev -9.5%

Oct 06, 2013
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Slyjoker87 from Illinois

3.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber color, but very light; has a white head that recedes quickly.

S - Faint smells of pumpkin and cinnamon spice

T - The flavor here is very artificial and seeming added as a second thought. There is a very light pumpkin and cinnamon spice on the top, but it tastes like pils with pumpkin floating on top. Mostly plain and boring.

M - Very thin, fairly carbonated.

O - It's easy to drink, but really lacks in the flavor department. I do have to note, however, that I tried it straight out of the bottle and it wasn't terrible. I could see this at any fall casual party, but nothing to take seriously.

Nov 15, 2011
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UpstateNYhophead from Washington

5/5  rDev +64.5%

Dec 09, 2011
Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71 out of 100 with 2810 ratings