Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
2,714 Ratings
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,714 |  Reviews: 889
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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." 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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's decent enough...but when I drink an odd style beer like pumpkin I want it to be substantial and this one isn't...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If their goal was to brew pumpkin pie, they succeeded.

Poured golden-orange with a head so reluctant I thought I must have turned the glass upright way too late. It honestly smells like pumpkin pie and tastes a lot like it as well.

Now, I love pumpkin pie, but the mouthfeel of this beer was borderline offensive. I think it was a great idea to add pumpkin spice to a beer but they didn't add nearly enough. Instead of brewing something truly profound, The Shipyard ended up with something awkward.

Pumpkin pie, club soda, blender. Bliggidy Blam.

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Photo of mschofield
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There is no head at all (at least after 10 seconds or so), after the first I tried from the bottle, I poured the second HARD and there was nothing. Orange-gold in color. Tastes and smells of nutmeg.
Seems stronger in flavor from the bottle than on tap (although I've only had in on tap at one place - Friday's in Norwood,MA).
Good alternative to the oktoberfests and marzen's if you're looking for something different. Not something I'd want all the time, but a 6 pack of pumpkin pie beer once a year is nice.
The bottle indicates that it's a malt beverage with pumpkin spice - is it a malternative or an ale? More of a pumpkin pie beer than a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of littlebibs
3.32/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I first gave this one a try at the blue mermaid up at portsmouth,N.H on tap and for a pumpkin ale I enjoyed this. I've tried several of
these season ales over the years and have been turned off by
the over powering of spices in some. I took a chance on this and even
though it has a lighter taste overall, slight head, ( disappears
quick), the spices don't overwelm this ale and I found it went down very easily. a bit watery, this is a nice beer to
drink when you feel like several and you don't want to get to bloated.

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Photo of BierReise
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. Bottle. Clear ale with a sunset hue. A hard pour only results in a modest head which dissapears rapidly. No retention here on this one. Great aroma of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Light bodied and crisp with a slightly dry finish. Flavor is like pumpkin pie with crust and all. Unfortunately a weak body doesn't compliment the flavor, which isn't as nice as the aroma.

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

This is a really wimpy Pumpkin Ale. It pours a orange-hued brassy color with a fast dissipating white head and nearly no lingering lace. The aroma is faintly of pumpkin and nutmeg with whiff of bread dough. The body is thin and watery, lightly sweet and a bit doughy. The hops are mildly applied and offer a light lime-like sourness. The flavor of pumpkins is only vaguely a subliminal suggestion. You may think that you're tasting actual pumpkin, but really it's more the spices and mild aroma playing tricks on your senses. If youÂ’re going to brew Pumpkin Ale, put some F#@%ing pumpkin in the process. This is wimpy idea best abandoned by an otherwise good brewery.

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Photo of kgmurphy13
3.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden in color with a hint of red, not the orangey/amber hue I look for in a good pumpkin. No head to speak of.
Smell: Decent nose, subtle overall hint of pumpkin, with nutmeg and cinnamon very discernible
Taste: Good carbonation, pumpkin not overwhelming, which for some reason I really enjoy in pumpkin ales (I'm not a fruitty beer lover, but for some reason I really enjoy a stronger pumpkin taste than this brings). The best part of this beer is that cinnamon, nutmeg and various other spices that come through on the finish. Good job by the brewer there.
Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, medium body, nothing great, nothing awlful
Drinkability: I could knock a few of these back, but I would need a juicy turkey leg in front of me to fully enjoy it
P.S. The package on this beer is great. The headless horseman on a dark background. A+

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 2,714 ratings