Punkin Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Punkin AlePunkin Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #31
Ranked #10,658
3.95 | pDev: 12.66%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Punkin AlePunkin Ale
Notes: Also known as Punkin Brown Ale

A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.

Punkin Ale is named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. Yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business!

28 IBU
Reviews: 2,198 | Ratings: 6,846 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cisteve:
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cisteve from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Apr 07, 2012
More User Reviews:
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StoneTSR from Colorado

3.69/5  rDev -6.6%

APPEARANCE: The color is not what one might expect from a “full-bodied brown ale”. In fact, it is a bright, but hazy orange color. A half-finger of white head rises and falls within seconds of the initial pour. A layer of wispy foam remains, covering most of the surface of the beer. Quite a few bubbles can be seen popping up towards the surface at varying speeds, giving this beer a nice, lively look.

SMELL: Now the “brown ale” piece of this is coming through with a fair amount of roasted malt aromas that make up the majority of the smell. Just underneath that roast, though, is a very strong pumpkin smell…and not the fake, pumpkin pie smell (which I often like), this is the real deal, pumpkin smell. Some pie spices flirt with the nose as well, but they are subtle.

TASTE: The roast flavors match the aromas in intensity and, for this beer, dominate the flavor profile for me. And again, the true pumpkin flavor comes in right underneath it, but this time the spices are closer to the front and center than in the nose. The heavy roast also brings out what is almost a woody flavor, along with a touch of vanilla.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied and on the sweet side for an average beer, but a little dry for many Pumpkins on the market. There is a touch of stickiness on the front end, but it certainly dries while going down.

OVERALL: Dogfish Punkin is a pretty solid beer. I do appreciate that I can detect a lot more actual pumpkin flavor and aroma than in most others, but I would appreciate a little more sweet and spice. I’m sure many people out there may prefer this, however.

Sep 16, 2014
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a packaged on date on the side of the label.

LOOK: Clear, tea color, good lacing

SMELL: Pumpkin pie spice, mild alcoholic esters, sugary, gord meat

TASTE: Smooth, a bit creamy, medium bodied, biscuity, expressive esters, raisins, faint rum, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes sweet and spicy

Hands down this is the best bottled pumpkin brews I have ever had, it is nice to see a brewery have enough courage and inspiration not to brew a pumpkin soda-beer. I would not have expected anything less from Dogfish Head. Thankfully there are pumpkin beers like this that are not one and done.

Aug 15, 2012
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Clear, orange/amber color with a medium, off-white head that faded quickly and left ok lacing.

S---Malty. Fairly slight aroma. Pumpkin pie is there, but not strong.

T---Much stronger than the smell, thankfully. It's nice that they actually use pumpkin in brewing instead of just the spices, like everyone else. It makes a difference. Has a real pumpkin pie taste.

F---Medium body, decent carbonation, refreshing. No bitterness of note.

O---Overall, a quality pumpkin ale.

Sep 08, 2018
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with some lighter highlights. Good lacing.

S: Lots of pumpkin flavor along with all the accompanying spices. The brown sugar is a really nice tough.

T: Like the smell, this one is all pumpkin pie, and the sweetness added by the brown sugar is just incredible. The spicing is absolutely perfect. By far the best-tasting pumpkin beer I've ever had.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium body.

D: Everything gets to be a little much to have more than one, but this is a damn fine brew.

Apr 28, 2009
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TheWolf from Delaware

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: hazy Amber.

Smell: I had a difficult time pinpointing the spices in the smell so I asked my wife. She said it smelled like the floor of a frat house. I had 2 concerns. First I somewhat agreed. Second what the hell was she doing on the floor of a frat house.

Taste: frat house floor

Feel: insufficient, insecure

Overall: ?

Nov 15, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to a fizzy soda like cap. No lacing was present.

S - Smells of sweet bread dough, tangy fruits, and pumpkin pie spices.

T - Bitter/spice taste to start out with a malty aftertaste.

M - Decent carbonation gives a bubbly coating feeling in the mouth.

D - Solid niche beer. I am glad I tried this beer and I would probably get it again in the fall but it wasn't something I would drink a lot of. Definitely one of the best pumpkin ales though...

May 14, 2010
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dd43 from Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is just a straight up good ale from Dogfish Head. The first aromas that hit me were a vegetal smell of the pumpkin, and a baking spice medley (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg). This beer looks great in the glass, nice creamy off white head and a hazy appearance that makes you think you're about to drink a meal. The brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices are nicely attenuated. This beer is not a spice bomb like so many seasonal pumpkin beers are relegated to. The finish is really appealing, mouth coating but not too heavy. That said I think I'd only have one of these in a session. It's a nice thing to start off with as the mercury drops and Halloween approaches.

Sep 11, 2015
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DaverCS from Arizona

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saved this beer over the course of three years. Tried a vertical tasting for fun on thanksgiving with my dad (2016).

Had the most earthy pumpkin flavor with the least amount of spice. Had the perfect amount of carbonation. Favorite out of the group.

Had a funky taste to it. Very earthy with a bit of clove and pumpkin pie spices. Had the lowest carbonation with a surpringly thicker feel. Least favorite of the group.

Light citrus notes. Most amount of spice: cinnamon and lots of clove/nutmeg. A slight hoppiness in the finish. It had the most carbonation. Rated second best.

Overall, the beer is alright. It paired well with moms sweet potato pie. It gets an 80/100.

Nov 26, 2016
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HotDogBikeRide from Texas

4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cool little 4 pack on sale for just $4.99 at Spec's in Beaumont - couldn't resist. Julian dating suggests like a 6-7 month old beer or so (I think).

Color is a warm, semi-hazy orange, or at least my color blind ass thinks so.

Small retisicient head with a splash of lacing here and there that falls down into the pumpkin ale from time to time.

Smell is a light malt with a faint pumpkin to it, I'm sure had I grabbed it earlier it would've been much more in your face. That being said there is something warming, calm, and refreshing about the suggestion of pumpkin in the ale. Goes down extremely smooth and tastes great.

Really balanced, safe beer and with an autumn cheer. It is a very unartificial pumpkin flavor that resides in the back of the mouth. Light malts to help guide you to the flavor. Wet and refreshing once again on the palate. I dig this beer and look forward to trying it fresher. It aged quite well.

Jan 23, 2017
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously bubbled pumpkin orange capped by a pastel orange, whipped creamy head that is a perfect color match for the beer that created it. The three finger cap has a considerable amount of patience, but doesn't look sticky enough to grab and hold onto the glass. A lack of lace is a minor disappointment that doesn't spoil a very nice pumpkin beer look.

The nose is as expected: baked pumpkin flesh and pumpkin pie spices. Perhaps I should go along with Dogfish Head and start writing punkin'. I've smelled pumpkinier versions and I've smelled spicier versions, but this one can hold its own against all but the most aromatic. Amazingly enough, even at a relatively high pumpkin ale ABV of 7%, there's no alcohol evident in the nose.

This is lovely stuff, even if the alcohol is now easily appreciated. This is definitely a different sort of pumpkin ale, a stronger version of the usual gourd beer. It's sweet and malty with a generous amount of caramel flavor. The spices aren't as up-front on the palate. The label indicates that allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were used. They're all identifiable, with none dominating the others.

If I was in charge at the brewery, I'd knock the ABV back a full 2% (or try harder to mask it) and would add more brown sugar and spice. It's their beer, though, so I guess I'll have to take it or leave it. Um... I'll take it. This really is a quality fall seasonal.

The decision to build a sturdier pumpkin ale pays dividends when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's a few notches more full than medium and is as smooth as heavy silk. Too many bubbles on the initial pour become just the right amount before very long at all.

Punkin' Ale is one of the better versions that I've run across. It doesn't seriously challenge my clear favorite (Smuttynose Pumpkin), but it's definitely worthwhile and is deliciously different. If you have any interest in the style whatsoever, I suggest you get Punk'd as soon as possible.

Dec 01, 2005
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

small lacey head, orangey. Spicey cinammon, spicey,allspice, nutmeg, some maltness spice chest, chia tea with some hop bitterness. Drying, very vegatable taste. No expiry date. Gourdy taste. This tastes like a beer rather a fruity sweety cooler.Medium to full mouthfeel.

Feb 07, 2006
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metter98 from New York

4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured amber in color with just a few bubbles floating on the surface and a light amount of carbonation.
S: There's a moderate aroma of pumpkin, spices and sweetness in the aroma that comes very close to resembling pumpkin pie.
T: The taste has a good balance between sweetness and spices; the flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar and the spices really stand out.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and silky smooth.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely try this again because the taste is rather interesting and complex for the style.

May 29, 2010
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Arch578 from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Appearance: Very clear orange-ish copper color, with a thin, white head.

Aroma: Nice blend of fall spices (nutmeg, clove, cinnamon) and fruitiness.

Taste: Lots of spice, very reminiscent of a winter warmer (GLBC Christmas Ale in particular). The pumpkin itself is almost undetectable, though there are definitely some fruity undertones.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, has a nice crisp carbonation but also a slightly syrupy feel.

Overall: As the label says, this really is a perfect beer to warm up with. Spices are front and center, so fortunately they are excellently blended and really match up with the platonic idea of pumpkin pie. I would love to have this with a little vanilla ice cream or just whipped cream on the side.

Sep 16, 2014
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fuzzbalz from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Jul 15, 2014
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, virtually no head, and no lace. Smell is nutmeg, sweet rich malt, some pumpkin, rich malt, some cinnamon. Taste is sweet malt, lots of spice, little bit of pumpkin and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, medium carbonation, warming. Not bad but disappointing.

Oct 18, 2005
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rabsten from West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass, pours an autumnal amber with a fluffy, inch thick head. Good lacing. Handsome beer. Pretty to look at.

Aroma: Very spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.

Strong, sweet, alcohol-y, spiced, "punkin'"...It's all here. Well, everything but malt and hops. If I didn't know this was a beer of some kind, I wouldn't be able to tell by the flavor. Most original of the pumpkins I've sampled in '06. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and pumpkin. Like liquid pie filling.

Thick mouthfeel, lingers all over the palate. Drinkability: "Only" 7% but hits like a 12# pumpkin thrown off the balcony. "One and done" kind of ale.

Bottom line, an original entry into the pumpkin beer category. Not as good as the Post Road, but tasty indeed. DFH rocks.

Oct 25, 2006
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -3%

May 20, 2013
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drperm from Virginia

3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my perennial favorite pumpkin ales, although it might be too spicy for some. I find this recipe sublime, beginning with the smoky and woody nose. The taste of pumpkin is subtle, not too sweet, before handing it over to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Conjures up images of autumn leaves, a roaring fire, and hot homemade pie.

Jan 22, 2008
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ScreamForMe from Washington

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Nov 15, 2011
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pants678 from California

4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one goes in a standard pint and I pour smaller than a single finger head that almost immediately recedes to a thin lacing. I thought it would be more clouded, denser perhaps, but it's a clear orange and amber body with a white head.

Distinct and complex, the nutmeg stands out and is sharply spiced. I also get hints of brown sugar and, of course, pumpkin pie.

The flavors are not as sharp as the smell. Well spiced pumpkin pie that's complimented by vanilla and cinnamon. The front is bitter, but not more so than is welcomed. Stains the tongue, as opposed to the top of the mouth, and lingers nicely. A substantial part of this brew waits on the back end. It's all very well mixed, nothing really overtaking anything else and the alcohol is hardly even an aftertaste.

It's a frothy brew and the vanilla takes well to that with the cinnamon and brown sugar playing opposite. Hits all the taste buds. My only complaint is that I may have liked something harsher in there somewhere.

Sep 20, 2009
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pottergator from New York

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Sep 23, 2013
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TBoneJones from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appropriate bottle art (2015). Clear amber body, sparse carbonation, barely a head remaining.
Smells of pumpkin spice/ nutmeg, some lightly sweet brown sugar/ gingerbread/ malts.
Taste like the smell's description, but less like a brown ale and more like a spiced ale. Mineral aspect to this too.
Feels medium crisp, warming and mildly dry. I'm not a pumpkin ale type, and I love all efforts from this great brewery. I just enjoy many of their other seasonals more.
I'd rather like to see them try an imperial brown ale with this pumpkin addition, because I figure if you're going to go all-out on the spice ingredients and pumpkin meat with so much of that flavor, the gravity and richness may as well be elevated as well. Just a preference.

Sep 19, 2015
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harrisjohnson from Maryland

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Sep 14, 2012
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DrStiffington from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Nov 01, 2014
Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 6846 ratings