Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale
2,720 Ratings
Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,720 |  Reviews: 889
Photo of kbub6f
2.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok. A fizzy, dirty-white, gingerale head dies to nothing. The orange-gold, clear beer has lots of small, fast bubbles. Nose is cinnamon and fruit: it smells like apple crumble. Huge cinnamon in the front completely overpowers any other taste. Middle is thin and fruity. The finish is dryish and grainsy. And here, finally, the cinnamon fades a little: more allspice. For me, the spice is way overstated. It tames a little as it sits (or maybe it just numbs).

 458 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light gold color. Small quickly dissipating white foamy head. Aroma is spicy, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. A light bodied ‘pumpkin ale’. Malts are mild, fruity and sweet. No hops flavors to speak of, but it has a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg bite to it. Not a lot of discernable pumpkin flavor. It a smooth easy to drink beer, but there is not much else here. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

 448 characters

Photo of stewart124
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With little head that vanishes after a minute, this golden colored beer smells strongly of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. The taste is sweet with slight pumpkin spices that finish off your tastebuds. The aftertaste lingers only for a moment. Pretty smooth brew that goes down easy but it leaves something to be desired.

 317 characters

Photo of TPoling
3.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in Clearwater, Fla. Pumpkinhead Ale has a modest creamy head that dissipates quickly and laces slides fast. There is pumpkin and spice -- with nutmeg and cinnamon most noticeable -- to the smell. Also a hint of citrus.

There is cinnamon upfront and then a tart finish with a slight bitterness as pumpkin flavors fill the mouth.

 340 characters

Photo of marc77
2.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Lightly cloudy, pale golden hue. Head fizzles into a meager soapy, porous layer. No lace. Generic pumpkin pie spice accompanied by grainy wheat and salight butterscotch. Not much depth aromawise. Mildly toasty dextrin and light caramel malt is the malt foundation for judicious spicing. Agreeable, parching sharpness lended by cinnamon. Slightly citric, lemony notes emerge as the beer breathes and lend a spiced lemon bread impression. Mild, non descript hop bitterness offsets malt sweetness adequately, lending a brisk dryness that suits the well controlled pie spices. (nutmeg, cinnamon...etc) Well attenuated and thin, with a prosaic American wheat -esque watery mouthfeel. Finishes mildly toasty, but otherwise abruptly and very dry. A rather tame and uninspired pumpkin brew. "Pumpkin" ales need a sturdy malt backbone, and this lanky brew doesn't have one. Passably drinkable, but forgettable.

 901 characters

Photo of Imbiber
2.13/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Oh dear. Dirty orange coloured, slightly hazy; headless and almost lifeless. The bottle says best before January '04 (next month), so presumably not very fresh. Aroma is spicy, cinnamon comes through but not a lot else. Watery texture; the flavour is one-dimentional and totally dominated by spice. Thirst quenching it may be, but as a beer to sit back and enjoy it's at the bottom of the barrel - excuse the pun...

 415 characters

Photo of DrewBeechum
2.62/5  rDev -13%
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 scottum
2.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear orange amber with a white head which quickly fades to nothing. Pumpkin spice flavor is there, but where is the pumpkin? Where is anything redeaming about this beer? Is this beer? Almost seems like a bad trip into pumpkin cider land. Quite the light. Jerky mouthfeel that doesn't know which way to go. Note to self: read BA reviews before investing in a sixpack. I hope my girlfriend likes this. I'm a huge fan of the pumpkin beer style, but this is not a good one.

 478 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
2.83/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy goldish copper. Smells spicy, but not of the hop variety.

The taste is slightly bready and tastes a bit like a cinnamon cookie. The beer has a very light mouthfeel, with no reminiscence of malts or hops. The finish is pumpkins and nuts. Mind you, this is labeled a "malt beverage" on the side, which I only noticed after drinking it.

My fiancee considered this a perfect autumnal beverage, but I had to dissent. All things considered, it wasn't too bad, but i've yet to be impressed by the Shipyard brewery. It was at least 1000x better than their awful Light Ale.

 593 characters

Photo of dpend
3.82/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is more like a pumpkin pie ale.The other pumpkin ales I've had just taste like pumpkin,but this has cinnamon,nutmeg and other spices throughout and left me looking chunks of crust in the bottom of the glass.It welcomes in the season well, but it's a bit watery and light for something that has this amount of spices in it.The more you drink, the more the spices linger and I think that hurts it's drinkability in the long run.A cool beer to try, just don't stop here.Try a lot more others.

 494 characters

Photo of dweideman
3.52/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an average size white head with good lacing that diminished quickly. Yellow-amber hue with normal clarity. Aroma was totally overtaken with the pumpkin, nutmeg and other spices in the beer-- very little malt/hop aroma. Unlike the aroma, the beer was well balanced with and had a great spiced finish with the hops really coming through. A light body with a watery texture and lively carbonation made for an excellent mouthfeel. Overall it was OK -- the initial aroma made me think I would have been better off eating a gingerbread cookie but the taste was surprisingly well balanced.

 589 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I geuss I had certain standards in mind when I first tried this out, something with pumpkin flavor, like Buffalo Bill's. After the taste let me I re-read the label. "Malt beverage," though it also bill itself as an ale, "With pumpkin spice added." Okay..fine..be that way...
Appearance: clear, light orange color, with a full, frothy head.
Aromatics are intensely strong and spicy, cinnamon, and more, alert, lively, liberally populated with the requisite pumpkin pie aroma, minus the pumpkin.
Taste: buzzing, but brief, from spices and a little hoppy, but over too quick. Lingers just a bit. The ale, I mean, "malt beverage", behind these spices is far too thin and flavorless. Precious little body, texture only comes up front. I'd have to deem this one-dimensional.
Maybe I was looking for more than they intended, but it's still underwhelming, didn't exert itself in the slightest. Forgettable.

 902 characters

Photo of WaltTrombone
2.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Apparently Shipyard doesn't think that highly of this beer, either, it's billed as a "Malt Beverage with Pumpkin Spice".It poured a light orange-copper, and the white head had no staying power.

The aroma was was cinnamon, allspice, clove, pumpkin. The taste was pumpkin, spices, lemon orange. The mouthfeel was thin and watery, with heavy carbonation. It reminded me more of a flavored seltzer, than a beer. It finished with a mild metallic, sodium tang.

Shipyard has a reputation for brewing solid, tasty beers, but you wouldn't know it from this one.

 558 characters

Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An incredibly clear pour with a lasting white foamy head. Huge cinnamon and allspice aroma with hints of pumpkin. The body is smooth and light and supports a rounded yet bold cinnamon and gingerbread flavor. This is a very easy-drinking and malty brew. The spices are perfectly balanced creating a flavorful concoction much like drinking a pumpkin pie.

 352 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, golden color with a hint of orange. Modest, slightly frothy white head that settles down to a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Lighter than the other pumpkin ales I've had.

Smell: Good balanced smell of pale malt and pumpkin pulp. Good cinnamon aroma with hints of allspice, nutmeg, and clove. Smells a helluva lot like pumpkin pie.

Taste: Wonderful pumpkin pie flavor with some light banana esters and lemony sourness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Wonderfully light bodied, crisp and refreshing. No overpowering clove/nutmeg numbing sensation like some other pumpkin ales I've had.

Drinkability: I don't normally like the pumpkin beers too much, but this one is definitely a keeper. Tastes the most like pumpkin pie of the ones I've had. Tasted so much like Thanksgiving that I kept on expecting John Madden to come on the TV and start talking about which player was gonna get the leg off the turducken he's got cooking.

A big thanks to Bill from the Clarendon WF for the hookup.

 1,064 characters

Photo of ElGuapo
2.73/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours to a dark copper color topped in a good amount of head that leaves trails of lace all over the glass. Aroma is blasted with cinnamon and freshly cut pumpkins. Notes of ginger in there as well.

There is basically no balance in this beer at all. It is so loaded with cinnamon, that I can barely get a taste of anything else. It kind of tastes like a gingerbread man covered in cinnamon (NO, not my buttons!). The first couple sips where OK, but the flavor is not easy to deal with for a long time. It is not a good drinker at all. I would have to say that you can skip this one.

 587 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Biggest knock on this beer is the mouthfeel/body..very thin and watery and feels like a Miller Lite in my mouth....I prefer a little more substance to my pumpkin beers...The best part of this beer is the nose...smells like pumpkin pie spices....particularly cinnamon...Don't get much actual pumpkin on the nose or taste but the spices are nice....Flavors are big on the cinnamon and spices....decent taste....wish it had more pumpkin and more body to it....its appearance is also odd...dark goldish with a hint of orange...not real impressive..

Nothing to jump up and down about...I wouldn't buy it again, but would drink it if offered....it's decent enough...but when I drink an odd style beer like pumpkin I want it to be substantial and this one isn't...

 760 characters

Photo of DagFishHead
2.39/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a suprisingly light amber color given the season and "pumpkin" style. Weak pale white head that vacates rather quickly, leaving virtually no lace.
This "ale" is all about nose: LOTS of cinnamon, cloves, allspice... all the pie spices, overdone IMO. If there's a such thing as after-smell, I'd say it ended noticeably bitter and burnt. I didn't even pick up a whiff of pumpkin.
Taste is not as intense as the nose, but same characteristics. Maybe the spices burned out my palate, put I could pick out no malt nor hop characteristics. Is this beer? Dry, burnt finish.
Mouthfeel thin and watery. Makes the carbonation feel heavy.
An interesting olfactory adventure, but I don't care to have any more, thanks.

 720 characters

Photo of JISurfer
2.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I guess I got a good bottle of the bunch, because mine was ok. It wasn't the best I have ever had, but it was better than Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin. I could actually taste the "pumpkiness" in this brew, but mostly the spices were evident. It had a nice bubbly head for a little while, but then died down to a laceing. The body itself was regular, actually looked like any macro brew would, but it was the head that made it half decent. It was bubbly on the tounge, which led me to believe that it was heavily carbonated actually. I guess, if you wanted to know what this was like w/o actually drinking it, I would compare it to Bud w/ pumpkin spices. Sure, it's not the best stuff, but then again, it's not the worst.

Nevermind all that stuff about this not being the worst I have ever had. The more I drink it, the worse it gets. Guess Buffalo Bill get's saved again.

 868 characters

Photo of Suds
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was something of a disappointment.
It's a clear, effervescent, golden-amber color with a thin, disappearing head. Aroma is certainly pumpkin, but the spices are overdone, and the smell is a plastic-artificial pumpkin. Very little pumpkin flavor beyond the smell, and the beer itself is slightly thin and watery with a mildly bitter finish. I won't be going for this one again.

 388 characters

Photo of oberon
2.67/5  rDev -11.3%
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 chaduvel
2.47/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale orange in color, not much head to speak of. Smells OK, like pumpkin pie, but kind of artificial. Taste is watery with some cinnamon, clove (not like weiss-beer clove), and sugar. Some weak pale lager grain flavors on the finish (weird even though this is an ale of course). A weak attempt at a pumpkin ale.

 311 characters

Photo of edchicma
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, it did say pumpkin spices....kind of like smelling a pumpkin pie, with some of the flavor carrying over. A bit on the light side, with an equally light mouthfeel. Not too much on the hoppy or malty side, the spices kind of overwhelmed it. Is this like some of the first brews before hops and malt? Probably a good choice for the Mike's and hard cider crowd.

 363 characters

Photo of bmills1608
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle a deep gold color. Moderate head. On the nose was pumpkin pie. Cinnamon and pumpkin, some light malty grains and various other baking spices. A rather forward, very interesting nose.

On the taste was basically the same as what was on the nose. Pumpkin pie. In the flavor however the pumpkin pie flavor is not nearly as pronounced as it was on the nose. Actually reminded me of a lightly hopped pale ale with a moderate pumpkin characteristic. Initial taste, you get some pie, middle and end are smooth grains and light malt. Finishes a little dry, some hay and perhaps some herbs. Mouthfeel and carbonation was OK. Mouthfeel was light and could have had a bit more smoothness.

Overall - I was pleasantly surprised at how this beer turned out. Pretty descent. I would def. drink it again but I would not go out of my way to seek it out.

 870 characters

Photo of Boto
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this watching the Red Sox beat the Athletics. This beer pours a somewhat golden color. It had a bit of a head on it, but it went down quickly. No real lacing. Aroma is very similar to pumpkin pie. The same spices are definitely there. However, the pumpkin is not overpowering. A fairly smooth and clean taste.

 315 characters

Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 2,720 ratings