Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
2,695 Ratings
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,695 |  Reviews: 887
Photo of Jesse13713
3.23/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll be the first to defend this beer. For a pumpkin ale, its pretty average. But when i want a pumpkin ale that's light and spicy, i choose this one. Sure it can't match pumking or dogfish punkin. But its a solid light bodied brew.

Appearance - No head from the tap. No lacing or foam either. Looks very watery and plain. A transparent straw yellow and faint orange.

Smell - Light on the nose. Faint spice and light fruit.Not much else going on.

Taste - Despite its poor appearance and lack of smell, I enjoy the taste alot. Ill agree that its more of a bud light with spice in it, but the spice is phenomenal in my opinion. The best cinnamon I've tasted in a beer to date. This beer is refreshing on summer days that are soon to turn to autumn. Light nutmeg and faint pumpkin.

Mouthfeel and overall - very light and refreshing, especially in the final days of summer. Easy to drink and perfect for when you don't want a heavy pumpkin ale.

 944 characters

Photo of MikeDAdams
2/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of Drew88
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DrewBeechum
2.62/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled from a 12 oz beer bottle procured in Orlando in December.

Beer pours into the glass with a loud hiss of Co2 and crisp snap as the large fluffly white head slowly fades.

The carbonation remains one of the major flavor aspects all the way thorugh.

A large spice of cloves and cinnamon with a touch of diacetyl mixes with just a touch of malt.

The flavor is sweet with a touch of corniness and bubblegum with a largely drying and sour spice finish.

 467 characters

Photo of brealbg
3.25/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of ExtraStout
2.7/5  rDev -10%
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 ujsplace
2.62/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a becker.

Pours a light, clear, pale golden orange colored brew with a bubbly, white, foamy head that is gone quickly, leaving very little evidence that it existed at all.

Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and mild pumpkin.

Tastes mild up front with faint nutmeg, pumpkin, a mild hop presence, with a mild cinnamon splash in the end. Everything is too mild here.

Very light and crisp, watery.

This brew truly falls short. I could drink this, but with so many other more flavorful pumpkin brews available, why bother. This just doesn't have nearly enough in the flavor department.

 592 characters

Photo of Ropowers3
2.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of PhillyNole
2.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of olbubba
4/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of chris1919
4.72/5  rDev +57.3%

Photo of BrewerB
2.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle dated best by January 2012. Pouring this into a Firestone Walker nonic pint glass. Medium golden color, excellent clarity. 1-2 finger off-white head fizzled out quickly leaving barely a trace behind. No lacing.

Pumpkin pie-like spicy aromas heavy in the nose. Cinnamon sugar, vanilla, touches of clove.

Mild bready malt, dash of brown sugar. Low level of the pumpkin characteristics. Low bitterness. Dry finish cleaner than expected.

Medium-light body, modest carbonation levels.

Shipyard is a hit or miss brewery for my money and this one's whiff as far as I'm concerned. Pumpkin essence, while detectable in the aroma didn't carry well in the flavor. Not something I'd go for again.

 699 characters

Photo of rfbenavi80
2.67/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle best by Feb of 13.
Poured into a tulip

A- An aggressive pour yields a very golden beer with 2 fingers of bright white head that does not linger very long and also does not lace the glass at all. Does not look like what one would expect a pumpkin ale to look like. Color does not remind me of fall at all.

S- Smells tart. Not much pumpkin/yam/butternut squash aromas here. Also seems like it's lacking in the spice department also. Seems to have an earthy herbal or grassy aroma.

T- Pumpkin flavor is not up to par with the others in this style. Seems very muted, along with the spice flavors. Tastes grainy, like it full of adjuncts. Very light flavor of a raw yam, with no spices.

M- Seems fizzy and over carbonated for the style. Very light in body.

O- Does not seem up to par as others in this style. Flavors seem very off and muted. One could call this a gateway Pumpkin Ale for a newbie to Pumpkin Ales. In my humble opinion it's not worth trying. There are far better Pumpkin Ales out there for your hard earned money.

 1,040 characters

Photo of LouDogg114
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of mfl620ks
1/5  rDev -66.7%

Photo of cofeeguru
2.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of mzeld
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.17/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with fluffy, white head. Mediocre retention and lacing. Smell was pleasant with a little pumpkin pie aspect to it (go figure!). A nice mix of subtle pumpkin, some spices and a little biscuit/bread smell. Taste is bland at first but as it goes down I then notice the pumpkin and spices. This is my first of the style so I dont have much to compare too, but I thought it was good, not quite amazing. Mouthfeel was a little light and crisp due the higher carbonation. I have a feeling I would have really like this if it were a little creamier. Overall not bad, an easy drinker for sure.

 597 characters

Photo of almostjay
3.6/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I feel the need to clear the air on this beer a little bit.

I'm not sure what people are hoping for when they drink pumpkin ales, but most of the higher-end and/or "natural" attempts at the style come off as heavy, jumbled messes with MAYBE a hint of pumpkin spice. I am a big fan of the pumpkin flavor (nutmeg, cinnamon, spice, etc.), and in my opinion, Shipyard Pumpkinhead delivers the most flavorful "pumpkin" experience of any beer I have sampled (and they are many). I will concede the fact that the flavor does seem a bit "artificial", but I'm not going to snob my way into saying that this takes away from the fact that it is delicious.

I think the disappointment that has garnered this beer such a low rating overall stems from the fact that most people associate pumpkin ales with other big, heavy, spicy fall/winter brews. If that's what you're looking for, this isn't the brew for you (try the DFH offering, or maybe the Weyerbacher). If you are looking for something light and drinkable, and like sweet and spicy ales, definitely give this a try.

This is NOT a beer you let sit in a glass or drink a little warm to appreciate the nuances. It's a nice, very flavorful pumpkin session beer that I personally look forward to every year. I save my snobbery for other styles!

 1,288 characters

Photo of pcsnyder
3.25/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of Ecxeeder616
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BH712
2.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of ark57
3.7/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not sure that there was actually any pumpkin in this beer, but it does not matter. The light orange color gave way to tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The malty body was enough to compliment the spices. This is a good beer if you do not like to be overwhelmed with spices, but want to enjoy a different flavor.

 313 characters

Photo of CBlack85
2.11/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a globe glass

to create a good/great pumpkin beer you must first start with a good/great base beer. This beer is utterly unremarkable on all levels.

The beer pours a dark straw/light amber color that sits dead in the glass with no liveliness of carbonation, a thin white head that disappears quickly, and leaves behind no lacing to speak of. The aroma is metallic and sweet, with no underlying maltyness for the pumpkin spices to play off of. The flavor completely mimics the aroma, no character at all. Just a bland, unimaginative, overly sweet beer with no inspiration at all...

While I am completely unimpressed and underwhelmed by this beer, I can find no technical flaws or off flavors. There is nothing actually wrong with this beer, just nothing actually right with it either.

 820 characters

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3 out of 5 with 2,695 ratings
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