Punkless Dunkel
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company

Punkless DunkelPunkless Dunkel
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #24
Ranked #6,292
4.04 | pDev: 9.9%
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Punkless DunkelPunkless Dunkel
Notes: You may know this beer by it’s previous name, Punkel Dunkel Pumpkin Wheat Ale. It’s also been called a lot of other names as well: Pumpkin Dunkel, Pumpkinweizen, etc. Whatever you’ve called it in the past, we know that regardless of what it’s called, this is one of the most popular, if not the most popular seasonal beer we make. When we set out to create what we hoped was a unique pumpkin beer we decided to brew an imperial version of our Dunks Ferry Dunkelweizen, but in an unabashedly American way by adding pumpkin to the mash and your favorite pumpkin pie spices to the kettle. We add dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the boil as well to pair with the banana esters and spicy clove imparted by the yeast during fermentation. At 8.8% ABV it’s no slouch either. Always released after Labor Day, Punkless Dunkel doesn’t last long as the crisp Autumn nights make way to Winter just around the corner. Do the seasons even change in Texas.
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 174 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque ruddy,garnet color with a creamy/fizzy mocha colored head. Smell pumpkins,clove,cinnamon,baked apple. Taste is reminiscent of pumpkins,spice, hops,some mild booze. Feel is really nice being that this a wheat beer, very creamy, light and fluffy. Overall one the better pumpkin beers I have had . Good Job.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 3.00 (Including tax)/16 oz can ($0.186/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 10/18/19.
Undated can. In reefer at store, stored and served at 42 degrees.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Orange-ish brown, hazy.
Body – Brown, opaque.
Head – Large (Maximum six cm, aggressive center pour), medium density froth, average duration, diminishing to a six to fifteen mm crown with drag marks, prominences, and a thick complete cap.
Lacing – Excellent. Three-dimensional band of extremely tiny to small bubbles with blunt stalagmites and thin stalactites, connected to the next band by thin columns.
Aroma – 3.75 – When first poured, banana. As it warms, clove, and finally a mélange of mercifully weak pumpkin pie spices, appear, but banana remains the predominant aroma.
Flavor – 4.25 – Initial flavor is brown sugar. Final flavor is pumpkin and very little pumpkin pie spice – wahoo! No alcohol (8.8% ABV) flavor or aroma, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 4– Medium, creamy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4. (-0.25 point for undated personal container) One of the better pumpkin beers – maybe because a dunkelweizen makes a better base beer from which to start. Anyway, the pumpkin pie spice mix is definitely playing second fiddle to the basic dunkelweizen flavors and aroma.

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Photo of klarcbarr3
3.11/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I find this beer confusing. Sometimes it tastes fairly delicious, and sometime the banana flavor tones overwhelm, and it tastes like a banana well past ripeness, on the way to deterioration. I read the description, and understand that the banana notes are expected in this German-style Dunkel Wiezen. Well you may have accomplished your mission, Neshaminy Creek, but that does not make it any easier to drink when the past-ripeness wave hits the taste buds. I suspect I may rewrite this review after another taste or two. I like to be fair, and sometimes this tastes pretty good. I was not kidding when I stated at the onset.. I find this beer confusing.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(4 oz pour at the brewery)

Cloudy, pale chestnut-colored liquid; the little foam on the pour certainly laced well... pumpkin spice mix immediately on the nose and later in the aftertaste, with a seeming heavy emphasis on clove?... relatively malty foundation, slight fresh-baked pie crust aftertaste... nutmeg eventually pushes forward, as well as a firm herbal bitterness and lingering phenolic spice... soft, smooth body; marginally oily back end viscosity; but relatively light...

...having never had this or looked up its specs, the 'dunkel' in its name had me thinking lager, but now it all makes sense... unfortunately for me, they stole my idea for the style base for a pumpkin beer, but it's nice to sample an example, and it does beat any brew attempt I'd made... knowing now it's a wheat beer doesn't change my outlook much if at all; interesting variation on the pumpkin norm, but not sure the flavors truly came together in any moreish manner, though I may try it again (1520)

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Photo of JamFuel
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with light, tan head.

Smell is very spicy with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Taste is sweet and continues with the spices from the nose, adding a bit of candied fruit as well.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, I liked this the most of the pumpkin beers I've had. Not really my thing, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark mixture of ruby red and mahogany. Nice, 3 finger tan solid head

S: pumpkin, squash, pine, tonssssss of nutmeg. Bubblegum, clove, caramel, oak, and lots of dark wheat. A surprising amount going on in the aroma

T: pumpkin and dark wheats. Dark berries, nutmeg and clove. Caramel and a hint of toffee. More pumpkin and wheat on the finish

M: solid medium mouthfeel with low carbonation

O: interesting combination here. The pumpkin plays well off the dark wheat. Worth a try for sure

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Photo of MikeWard
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can into a pint glass. NO freshness dating could be found, which is a little annoying since the can proclaims "drink fresh, do not age". I'm going to assume it's this year's fall offering.

Not an attractive looking beer. A murky brown colored body. small cream colored head with no lacing.

malty and holiday spice aroma.

Hmm. The Dunkelweizen base is strong, then you get a cinnamon burst followed by nutmeg. Towards the end, the pumpkin comes through with a light bitterness.

Mouth is full, finish is lightly spicy with a slight sour bitterness.

Overall, an interesting and different fall offering. doubt I could handle more than one of these at a session. Curious how a straight dunkelweizen from NC would taste.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep autumn brown, sticky lacing - aroma of pretzel, meat casing, cinnamon and nutmeg. Nice combination of earthiness & sweetness. Taste is a pretty husky - the German dunkel notes (pumpernickel, bready malt) outmuscles the pumpkin flavors (really just spice notes that pop-in at the end). Finishes with a strong bitterness, oddly. A nice change of pace from the normal pumpkin beer but needs more balance

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company "Punkless Dunkel"
1 PINT can without production codes or freshness dating
$5.09 @ Wineworks, Marlton, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Pours a somewhat hazy dark brown body with crimson-orange highlights beneath a two finger thick head of frothy khaki colored foam. The aroma displays soft pumpkin spice and sweet malt. I mainly get cinnamon but there's also some nutmeg. Nice. I hope it's not overdone in the flavor... ahh, not bad, I do get some of that cinnamon bitterness though. It's a little overdone, but not that bad. As for the nutmeg that's there as well. It's spicy! There's the spice flavor upfront and then lingering spiciness in the finish. The malt is gently sweetish with notes of caramel and a light dusting of cocoa powder. It's balanced except that I get that lingering spice bitterness in the finish - I'm sure it's not from hops, it's totally different. Looking back the head has held well and it leaves some very nice lacing behind. I'd call it medium bodied and gently crisp in the mouth. Have I missed anything? I don't think so. I like it. It's a nice change of pace. I'll have to look for this again next year. Worth trying.

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Photo of Buck89
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a unique beer. It looks and smells like a Dunkelweizen. Very hazy copper-light brown color with a frothy light-tan head. Banana, yeast, and clove on the nose, but also with faint nutmeg, cinnamon, and spice. The taste definitely features the base beer, but with bright pumpkin pie - crust, spices, and pumpkin. It works for me.

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Photo of citizencane
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours translucent orange-red. Smell is pumpkin spices and some sweet fermented funkiness. Tate is pumpkins and spices- heavy amount of spices, but solid amount of pumpkin and nothing terribly artificial tasting. There's a natural-tasting sweetness to this that I like. Feels smooth and a touch thick. No booziness and not much dryness. There are definitely pumpkin pie spices here, but they are comparatively mild. Overall, this in my opinion should be the benchmark of pumpkin beers. Nothing groundbreaking but pretty tasty and very drinkable. It's too bad that pumpkin beers seem to be weighed down by such a low common denominator.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can.

Dark brown in color, off white colored head. I'm not normally a bit fan of pumpkin beers. It's better than most. Bold flavors at 8.8% abv. Aroma is big on the clove and caramel dark malt flavors. Taste is definitely a dunkelweizen base - earthy herbal flavors, with just a bit of cinnamon bite. Good balance, not too sweet nor dry. Medium bodied.

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Photo of Lawrence77
2.62/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've liked what I've had from Neshaminy Creek in the past so when I saw a pumpkin dunkel I had to give it a try. 'Tis the season for pumpkin and I love a good dunkel. Brought it to the counter and was shocked - $17 for a 4-pack of 16oz cans. Strike 1

I poured carelessly into a tall frozen glass mug and the head got tall and nice - looked great. Smelled more like spices than pumpkin... oh no, is this another pumpkin that's actually a pumpkin pie? Dove in and mouthfeel is quite nice, great of the cooler air of September. But, sadly, it was all spice and no pumpkin - definitely a pumpkin pie beer. Strike 2.

It seems a bit out of balance, too. It's not the cinnamon so maybe the allspice. Either way, I was let down. Far far from my favorite pumpkin but I do this every year, give a new one a try and regret it before going back to my tried and true Night Owl, Punkin Ale, and Whole Hog.

When I finished the can I felt the alcohol. Had a look and it's 8.8%! Ugh, so tired of these high alcohol beers. Overall, the beer does well in look and mouthfeel but, for me, was not the smell or taste I was looking in a true pumpkin. If you like the pie spices, I have no doubt you will like this but it's not for me. Managed to finish the 1st but dumped the 2nd and will be giving away the 3rd & 4th (and explaining it's not a real dunkel, maybe in color but highly doubt it's lagered).

As a final note, can we please do something about these pumpkin pie beers being called pumpkins? Can we please do something about these high-alcohol beers?

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Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to the captain of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. I just recently returned from the land of 8.8% beers, Sri Lanka. where 8 of the 9 beers I reviewed their were exactly 8.8% abv. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a dark brown color with orange highlights and a 1 inch head. Smell is of spices, pumpkin. Taste is of nutmeg, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, alcohol is present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark amber/mahogany with a thin film of off white head.
Smells like pumpkin pie. It's delicious, pumpkin is present, complimented nicely by the cinnamon, nutmeg.
You get pie crust in aroma as well. Clove and a small hint of banana are present as well on the palate. Nice mouthfeel, on the lighter side but not watery. Good carbonation Great pumpkin beer, one of the best I've had.

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Photo of MikeCooke
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin beer! Dirty words by most but for this beer drinker it's a welcome sign that fall is here. Insert Neshaminy Creek's Punkless Dunkel. Let's be quick with this it smells like pumpkin pie and the taste follows that quite well. I'm not in love with the mouthfeel which is a little too "light" for the flavor. The color is a copperish rust with a two finger head. Ok so that covers the pertinent information now for my take on it. It's good if you like pumpkin pie beer and it's absolute garbage if you don't.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Hub City Brewery in New Brunswick. Pours a deep, dark mahogany hue with ample frothing. Sweet aroma of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Similar overall flavor profile.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper body with one-finger head and minimal lace that sticks around. Pumpkin dominates the aroma with pie crust and cinnamon/nutmeg in there as well. Extremely smooth and medium bodied beer that is ultimate pumpkin pie beer despite not a large bread feeling; cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar seem to dominate this sweet beer and it finishes clean.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a very strong spice to it, and while it's not particularly pumpkiny, it's still nice. It's more reminiscent of something bready than it is pumpkin, and its aftertaste is rich. All in all, it's a good beer.

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Photo of Urk1127
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Chestnut brown color. Tawny head
Smell of clove. Cinnamon, chocolate. Coffee. Taste is the same as the smell. Fell is robust. Medium carbonation. Good beer.

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had the original Punkel Dunkel in 2013 and was under the impression that this the same beer with simply a name change due to yet another infringement controversy. After tasting it, it seems like it is a different recipe for sure.

First, unlike the 2013 version, this tastes nothing like a dunkel. The pumpkin is quite muted and the hoppiness is definitely amped up from the 2013 version. It is an interesting beer but shy of my hopes and expectations after really enjoying the 2013 Punkel Dunkel.

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Photo of BWH3
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice look except for weak head. Initial taste is very sweet. Finish has bitterness from the pumpkin spices is not terrific but doesn't spoil the beer because disappears and leaves nice pumpkin taste. Color and wheat cloudiness are beautiful.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Mahogany brown with a short tan head that dissipates quickly. Slightly cloudy with moderate carbonation.

Nutmeg, allspice, molasses, brown sugar, and toasted pie crust.

Sweet pumpkin meat, pumpkin puree, and toasted pie crust. Nutmeg, allspice, and molasses. Touches of cinnamon, pumpkin rind, and brown sugar.

Medium bodied, silky, creamy, and smooth.

Sweet and full flavored. Close to a homemade pumpkin pie. Still tasting awesome after almost 7 months. Awesome job, Neshaminy!

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Photo of CajunBiere
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent Oktoberfest brew!
Has a smooth velvety texture, with a hint of spice on the front with a sweet finish.
Smells like pumpkin pie with a spicy hint.
Dark caramel brown color, with a very short lasting head and slight lacing.
I'm more of a IPA guy but this seasonal beer surprised me, I actually enjoy it very much.
Will definitely try more brews from this brewery!

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark mahogany brown with a thick white head.

smells like pumpkin with light spices. cinnamon notes as well.

tastes like pumpkin/banana. great combination of pumpkin beer and wheat ale. like a pumpkin hefeweizen, this is nice! different taste than most other pumpkin ales. not full of pumpkin pie and spice. has a phenol sweetness to accompany the pumpkin.

goes down smooth, leaves a fair sweetness at the end.

as someone who does not particularly enjoy pumpkin beers, this is pretty damn good. a unique combination of pumpkin beer/wheat ale. not full of pumpkin and spice!! exactly what i am waiting for out of pumpkin beers.

my new favorite pumpkin beer! so different than the others, i like the style approach

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Punkless Dunkel from Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 174 ratings